Unsolicited Testimonials from Hidden Links Customers!
Here at Hidden Links we are often asked "why should we go with you?" Often times, we're being put "on the spot" when asked but the answer is simple. We can't vouch for other tour operators, but if you want your trip to be perfect, with every detail in order, with sightseeing/pub/restaurant recommendations you can count on, with staff that are exceedingly fun and enjoyable to work with, while making the life of the group leader downright simple, then you should choose Hidden Links!TM No scare tactics here and if you are feeling pressured to book with another company that's the surest sign they are the wrong outfit. If you are paying more money on an apples-to-apples basis with another company than you are paying too much. If you're looking at a quote that seems "too good to be true" compared to a Hidden Links package, you should question how reliable the service would be. We're in this for the long haul, we move more golfers to the British Isles than anyone, and you can contact any supplier included on your package quote to ask about us. You will likely hear that we are the most reliable partner they work with, we pay the fastest, and are the nicest to deal with as well!
The testimonials below tell the story and it would be our privilege to get a note back from your group as well. Thank you for your consideration!
The testimonials below tell the story and it would be our privilege to get a note back from your group as well. Thank you for your consideration!
Dear Iain and Jeff: As you know our group consisted of a wide selection of business people who have always had the best of everything. That was until you planned our trip to Ireland. Not only was it great, it was better than the best. The accommodations, Joe the driver, the Chefs, the selection of golf courses and most of all the Irish people who were our hosts were fabulous.
Everyone had a great time and couldn’t have been more pleased. The courses were great and the weather could not have been better.
I really enjoyed working with your Company and we are recommending Hidden Links to all of our friends. Now it is time to start thinking about next year. I have several projects for you to consider.
One is going to the Algarve. The other is going to Brandon Dunes in Oregon and then going on to Carmel to play Pebble, Spyglass and Cypress (if at all possible). Let me know your thoughts on these two locations.
B.G., Doonbeg, Lahinch, Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville, Old Head, Southwest Ireland
I have had numerous dealing with "Hidden Links" since early last year when they booked Guests with me for the British Open at Turnberry. I have to say they have been a pleasure to deal with and extremely efficient. Without exception, all the Guests who have been sent to us by "Hidden Links" have given us excellent feedback with regards to the effortless way they deal with enquiries and suggested itineraries to suitable t-off times on the key golf courses to the accommodation they recommend & provide. From my experience you will not go wrong booking with Jeff & his team at "Hidden Links" as they are totally professional & respected. Hope that my opinions help you.
B.R., accommodation owner in Ayrshire, Scotland, sent directly to a Hidden Links client who was asking about us before booking the tour
Hi Jeff and Lauri, Well, we all made it back from a wonderful two weeks in beautiful Scotland. It never ceases to amaze me personally how much I enjoy my travels to this wonderful country with magnificent vistas, hospitable people and spectacular golf venues. I want to personally thank all of you for a great itinerary. Perhaps it was a little aggressive with the extended travels to the north and then onto the Kintrye region, but we all enjoyed the vastness of the country. Our hats are off to Arthur Lamont, our driver. One cannot say enough about Arthur’s care for us and making it special for each of us in his caring special way. Arthur is to be commended and praised. We had very nice weather with a little rain now and then and just enough wind to make experiencing the Links of Scotland very challenging at times.
Assessments of the trip:
A) Cheryl and I enjoyed our stay at the Atholl Palace Hotel at Pitlochry. It certainly is a beautiful part of Scotland and would make a great venue to hub from for those who want to experience the surrounding area. The Spa is a nice place to relax and pamper one’s self.
Gathering of the group:
1) Starting in Edinburgh, The Royal Scots Hotel was nice and comfortable and certainly close for all of us to enjoy the sights.
2) North Berwick is still a great venue to start a golf trip of this nature and we all enjoyed the experience. We all had nice caddies that added to the enjoyment of the first day of golf.
3) A little rain put a small damper on further sightseeing in Edinburgh before traveling to St Andrews but I think all of us had sufficient time to enjoy this great cultural city.
4) St Andrews, what can I say. It is always a treat to spend time there and enjoy the experience. The Old and the New are always a treat to play and to walk around the town is always enjoyable. I personally have a highlight to savor the rest of my life with a birdie at the Road hole to cap of a nice 76. The Scores Hotel was nice and certainly very convenient to all the activites.
5) Moving to Cruden Bay with all but too brief a stay at the Marcliffe Manor at Pitfodels. The rooms and food at Marcliffe Manor are certainly second to none.
6) The ladies all enjoyed their experience at Cruden Bay with all its beauty. We were short a couple of caddies but still had a great experience.
7) I got a little carried away with routing us through the Whisky trail after leaving Cruden Bay but all of us seemed to enjoy the day that turned into a longer journey.
8) The Royal Dornoch experience continues to rank with all the very best that I personally have played. Our entire group ranked it at the top of the list. Pat, Art and myself played an extra 18 with the same passion as the first trip around. Again, we were short a few caddies but made due with what we were given. The extra round was done with trollies and we had a fun time.
9) On to the Kintrye peninsula, what a gorgeous drive down from Dornoch. It is a long trip but we all enjoyed our day and all the beautiful scenery.
10) Ugadale cottages are very nice and we all certainly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere. They delivered food to one of the cottages and enjoyed watching USA play to a tie with England. It certainly made our stay with the Scots there better as they were all in support of the USA against England!! The staff at the pub and cottages was great and added to our overall experience. Herb is to be commended for his service and support. On the last day, Craig left a wallet with a fair amount of cash under the mattress. When he discovered the problem at the Hilton Airport, we quickly made several phone calls to find the wallet. Thanks Lauri, you hopefully saved the day for Craig and his wallet.
11) Machrihanish Golf Club was a pure delight after the experience at the Dunes. Again, Pat, Art and myself went to the Pro shop at the Old course after the round at the Dunes and they let us out in the afternoon with trollies. We had a great time challenging the layout with the several blind shots. All of us went out the next morning on the old course and had a delightful last round in Scotland. The ladies with their caddies had a great time. The men too had a great experience with just three caddies. I personally could not have had a better ending to a glorious trip with an eagle two at the last hole by holing a wee wedge from 100 yards for a nice 73.
Thanks to Hidden Links, we shall all be able to cherish our trip to Scotland for many years to come. I personally look forward to a return visit to this great country with all it splendor and tremendous golf.
J.L., June 2010, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Aberdeen, Dornoch, and Machrihanish, Scotland
Lauri: Just want you to know we had a wonderful time. Even the weather behaved for the most part. The Brooksby House was a wonderful place to stay. Caryn and Chris were great hosts and we would definitely stay there again! For our first trip, staying at the Royal Scots Club was fun because of the history. Our trip and golf at North Berwick was delightful. What a neat small town with lovely homes. The course was beautiful going along the water with great views of two different light houses out on the rocks. All our golf rounds were great. They had us listed, we had our caddies as requested. It was fun getting to talk to them and learning more about the area from them. Of course the most inspiring was playing the Old Course. The feeling as you walk down the first fairway knowing who else has done that is very emotional. But all the courses were incredible and we played all five rounds. There was only one day, the second time we played Kingsbarnes that it rained hard. Of course we played all 18 anyway. Quite an experience. Thanks for giving us a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps we will do again.
T.C., June 2010, St. Andrews and Edinburgh Scotland
Thanks for a wonderful trip. Everything was absolutely fantastic. We will all definitely use Hidden Links for any golf outings to the UK and will give strong recommendations for the top notch planning and execution. Thanks again.
J.D. June 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
Bob, My trip report below. You said, a light packer is the happy traveler, how true. And never take golf bags... BA lost mine at Edinburgh airport for two days. I already miss dem Scots at Royal Scots Club who drank Glenfidich with me, calling each other 'bradah'....
Playing The Old Course:
Like most golfers, one of my goals has been playing The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Our initial itinerary was created and the tee time reservations were made eight months ago, but due to the uncertainties created by Iceland volcanic eruptions and British Airways strikes, four revisions were made until the last minute of the trip.
Other than the natural and manmade hazards that we encountered during the trip, with thick wallet when we left LAX gotten very thin when we left London, we consider this trip to Scotland was a success. We are happy to say that Los Coyotes is a nice home to come to after enduring the tough Scots’ course rules, terrifying pit bunkers, intimidating marshals, unforeseen difficulties such as airline losing the clubs, having to ride a train from Edinburgh to London missing the final round of golf due to cancelled flights. Without a doubt the other happy camper is our cat Cokey to have her daddy back home.
To my friendly Scottish friends: although I heard that you guys fought your enemies throughout the history and when there wars no war to fight you were fighting yourselves, I salute you and thank you for bringing the great game of golf to the world and still continuing to maintain the rules and regulations to enforce all the rules so the golfers practice honest behaviors on the course.
St. Andrews: Home of the world famous The Old Course. It’s an old city with rows of ancient buildings. We found the city clean and people very friendly and women very pretty. For five days we did not see any graffiti.
Edinburgh: This is the capital of Scotland. It is a large city with many people and lots of historical remains. We saw crowded streets and graffiti as seen in any large cities.
Strolling on the downtown streets, we ran into a Korean restaurant where we notice several young Korean women dinning with Scottish lads. I figured out that their fathers in Seoul had sent these precious daughters to earn MBAs and PHDs in Edinburgh universities but they were making out with local lads in the mean time. The couple next to our table already had a tiny baby with them, so I guess some of them will plant their roots in Scotland and might forsake their dad and homeland. Now you know why I sent my only daughter to USC.
The day at The New Course: It’s adjacent to The Old Course and was built in 1865, so the name “New” is only meaningful when comparing it to the Old Course, which was built hundreds of years earlier.
Because the airline lost my golf bag, I had to play with a rented set. I start with three lost tee shot balls and three double bogeys in a row on the first three holes. By the time I had survived the terrifying pit bunkers, I had shot a 104 and my wife Clara had beaten me by 7 strokes with 97! My caddie wouldn’t believe me when I insisted that Scottish rental clubs and I don’t get along very well.
The caddies get about 50 pounds (about $85) including tip per round but I tipped them 60 pounds each (about $100) for putting up with me, and they volunteered to caddy for us at The Old Course the next day.
Entering the bar at our hotel, I announce to the bartender: “My name is J.L. from Fullerton, California and I lost to my wife by 7 strokes, and I need a shot of best whisky in yo’ town!” Someone in the bar shouts, "Glennfidich!”, so I tell the bartender “Ok, Glennfidich, double on the rock!”. The bartender asks me what about the Mrs., I said they tend to be talkative if they get drunk so give her a coke. Someone in the bar yells: “Give the winna lady Glennfidich!”. Before finishing less than half of her whisky, I notice her quiet, being knocked off!
A quick primer on Scottish dialect: “doity fahv yahds from hiah to the bahnka” = thirty five yards from here to the bunker; “To Let” = For Rent; “poridge” = oat meal; “mate” = buddy, “I hahv” = I have, etc.
The day on The Old Course: This is the place where golf was born and the first British Open was played on this course in 1400 AD. Behind the first tee box is the world famous R&A (Royal and Ancient) Golf club house where women or visitors are never allowed. The bearded Scots Board Members wearing skirts and pouches, gather here to review and set rules and decide on golf matters that are followed by all golf organizations throughout the world such as USGA, Korean PGA, LPGA, SCGA, etc. What we do here at Los Coyotes regarding golf rules, etiquettes, game formats and any golf related matters are all coming from this very ancient building.
Behind this is British Golf Museum building. We were happy to see our American heroes such as Palmer, Watson, Nicklaus, John Daly and Justin Leonard and others’ display sections. We noticed in the LPGA section that Jiyai Shin, a Korean pro who is the current world ranking number one, had left her visor, shirt, shoes and some other memorabilia for display in her booth when she shot 66 and won Women’s British Open.
R&A sets out some tough rules of play here at their home course, as they review and revise the Golf Rules every year (such as Rule 14-5a etc. that we use every day) for all of us in the world to follow:
· You have to show your handicap certificate to the starter. (My 15 and Clara’s 7 were acceptable to him?!).
· They never refund the greens fees, meaning you have to be there 15 minutes before your tee time and play in rain, storm, emergency, sick or whatever. (A scratch player, a young man from Dallas who apparently got sick the night before joined us as our 4-some member. He had a bloody nose and threw up three times but kept playing. No mercy here so I comforted him all along as I learned that he used play Los Coyotes when he was young!).
· You have to finish in 4 hours or less. There are marshals at every other hole watching and pushing you to play faster, and they will kick you out if you protest like we do at LCCC sometimes!.
· No carts of any kind are allowed so you have to walk with your caddy. My doctor’s letter requesting to give me a cart for my left foot tendonitis was no good.
Fortunately British Airways had located my clubs and delivered to my hotel last night. It started light rain at the first tee box and the four layers of clothes got me warm but awkward swing produced a short but straight tee shot (my usual “short but usable”). My 3 wood gets the ball on the green and I two-putted for a par, which boosted my moral thinking that I will have a good game today, but wait, on the second hole I find the terrifying deep pit bunker again. After three whacks later I manage with a double bogey.
A tip on those pit bunkers: you need at least 60 degree wedge with high bounce, at least 16 degrees, hit about 3 inches behind the ball instead of usual one inch behind as we do here, and finish high at follow through in order to get out in less than three or four whacks. Watch how the pros do in dem bunkers during the British Open in few weeks.
Noticing that I was having putting problems all day, Clara challenges five dollars when we reach the 17the hole with the confidence she got from day before. Aha, her 3rd shot finds one of the deepest pit bunkers. When she was pulled out of the pit by her caddie, I noticed she was fuming so I decided to keep my mouth shut and never claim my winning money. (I had taken pictures of all of her 6 whacks as evidence that she shot a minimum double par that hole).
The world famous 18th hole of The Old Course: it’s an awesome sight to look at the huge par-4 18th green with the R&A Club House and British Golf Museum in the back ground. We both hit the best tee shots of the day. Clara’s 3rd shot is just on the fringe and my second shot with 4 wood lands 6 feet from the pin. We now come to the world famous Swilcan Bridge and take a pictures, where everyone from all over the world coming to play here takes picture with the R&Q building and our hotel in the back ground. Be sure not to miss this little bridge at the 18th hole when you watch the British Open in few weeks on TV. If you are playing this hole some day, have your camera ready.
When we reach the putting green, we notice a group of spectators had gathered as they always do when a group reaches the green. Clara makes a long one-putt to make a par. The spectators applaud and cheer.
My other playing partners had putted out and stepped aside and say “Jay make your six footer birdie”. My caddie pointing to a spot few inches right of the cup says “It’s birdie time, mate…aim right hiah”. I suddenly feel shaky hands and Voila! I did it again…I hit the ground first and move the ball less than a foot! I now face a tough 5 footer, which I yanked to the left and make a 3-putt bogey. I hear nothing from the spectators or anyone. I hope no one heard what I called myself at that moment.
Thus, an obscure ol’ fart from California shot 88 on The Old Course on this nice day in St. Andrews and lived happily ever after.
J.L. June 2010, St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland
Everyone is home and had a terrific time. We got SO lucky on the
weather....65-75 everyday and never got rain. The group is already talking about 2012. I suspect there will be some turnover, but a core will be the same. Brian was a great driver. I hope we could get him again....if he would
have us again!
B.K., June 2010, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Turnberry
Hi Iain! I just wanted to let you know the holiday was terrific. The weather was great, the hotel was fine. North Berwick and Gullane were great. I also played well which was a bonus. Thanks for organizing everything. I have told my friends about the site. My brothers and I are thinking about Ireland. We'll definitely use you again
M.A., June 2010, East Lothian, Scotland
Jeff and Lauri, We had a great trip so I wanted to send a note of thanks. There wasn't even a minor hiccup with the tee times and hotels. And, I wanted to particularly applaud Roy and our driver Tony, for their kind professionalism. You have made four big fans of Hidden Links.
All the best
P.P., June 2010, Southwest Ireland
We are back from a unbelievable Scotland Golf Trip. Everything went as planned we only had rain one day the weather was great 60 degrees or better. Your agenda worked perfectly the courses were great the B&B did a great job. I think ending with the old course help make this a trip of a life time for all of us.
S.W., June 2010, Ayrshire and St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff --Just a brief post mortem on our trip. Everything arranged by Hidden Links went very well. I think we were all pleased and credit is due to you and Lauri.
The weather at Carnoustie was unfortunately godawful - cold, very rainy and windy. It also rained hard on our day off, but was beautiful at Dornoch and Kingsbarn and good at Prestwick and Ailsa i.e. no rain. Your recommendations on gear and clothing are right on, especially on the necessity of two pairs of golf shoes. It could be a good idea to do as the natives do - rain pants at all times to foil the wind when it's not raining. Thanks again for your good work and regards.
P.M., June 2010, Dornoch, St. Andrews, and Ayrshire, Scotland
Just a quick note to say thanks for making our trip an experience of a life time. Everything went great. The golf was super. Our round on the Old Course exceeded our expectations and will be a memory we will cherish for a long time. Scotland is now on every ones list of places to return to. The Brooksby House is a unique place. We walked to dinner, the golf courses, and several other places in town. Chris and Caryn are exceptional hosts and made our stay all the better. They were full of useful information and supported us in everything we wanted to do. Thanks again for a great planning job and your support. We will all be recommending Hidden Links to anyone who is looking for the Golf Experience of a Life Time.
L.V., May 2010, Dornoch to St. Andrews, Scotland
Iain----Yep, we had a great time. Super accommodations, not one rain drop all week, superb golf courses and wonderful restaurants. The suggestions from Hidden Links for sightseeing and dining were excellent. I gotta tell ya that we couldn't have done any better than getting Senan for our driver. Senan helped us to sort through the possibilities and to decide what we could do and see during the time we had. While in Killarney, Senan brought the girls to the Skellig Island museum and to the Blasket Island Center, as added points of interest. In Dingle he suggested lunch at the Half Door to avoid the crowds. The fish chowder there is possibly the worlds best. As we spent time together we came to know a little of Senans family, too. We formed a true bond with this delightful young Irishman. He taught us about Irish history, shared Irish humor and sparked a love in us for Ireland. During our drive from Dublin to Killarney, Senan helped Steve to make a list of all the counties in Ireland and their abbreviations on Irish license plates. Steve was able to spot at least one vehicle from each place. Our trip was more fun and more interesting and our memories of Ireland are much richer and more varied because of Senan. Thanks again Iain and all the best. If we head over again, or if anyone else we know is going, we will make sure to use or recommend you. All the best.
B.B., May 2010, Southwest Ireland
Hey, we had a blast. The weather was perfect and it was a fantastic trip. Thanks for everything.
B.W., May 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
Dear Jeff, I wanted to send you a note to thank you for helping plan one of the more memorable trips of my life. Any time that you book something over the internet with a company that you haven't been able to walk into their offices, there is always a little shadow of doubt. Having now completed our trip I would certainly consider you a group that I have confidence in booking any future trips with and in recommending. You and Lauri bent over backwards to help accommodate our group from the start all the way through some of the last minute changes that took place.
Any time you have these trips you are going to have "hiccups" somewhere along the way, but that wasn't my experience. Everything flowed smoothly and allowed me to focus on enjoying being in Scotland and enjoying friends and some of the best golf the world has to offer. For that I thank you because it was a much needed escape that you helped to fulfill my expectations. I couldn't wait to get back and thank you again for all of your efforts and tell you how much I am looking forward to booking our next trip together with you. I know that we have already shared your company with several other individuals that I hope you will be hearing from and I hope they have as wonderful an experience as I have had with you and Hidden Links.
B.A., May 2010 St. Andrews, Muirfield, Gleneagles, and Turnberry
Hi Jeff! We had a blast! All the golf courses were excellent! And we certainly lucked out on the weather! Kingsbarns was our favorite picturesque course. Our accommodations were great! Mike was great @ Hazelbank and I would certainly recommend the flat @ the Burness house, Laurie & Hazel were very nice. Thanks again for everything!
B.H. May 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
Lauri, Just finished the Old Course and it was nice and sunny with a bit of wind. Thank you for all your help, we had a tremendous time. We would highly recommend your company to anyone thinking of Scotland. Cheers!!
C.B., May 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
HI Guys! I just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that everyone had a great time. The trip went without a hitch. Great job. Another six satisfied customers!! We will definitely think of you for future trips and also recommend to friends. Thanks!
C.C., May 2010, Southwest Ireland
Hi Jeff. I can't believe I've been back nearly two weeks and still not written to tell you what a great time we had in Ireland and Scotland. Everything you were in charge of ran like clockwork: the taxi drivers (Vince in Ireland and Eddy in Scotland) were outstanding - please let their companies know what a great job they did. The accommodation at Greyfriars was really good and Doonbeg was absolutely outstanding. The food everywhere was great! We felt very welcome at each of the golf courses and were blessed with excellent weather throughout the trip. I don't know if we'll get the chance to do such a trip again. It was always intended to be a once in a lifetime experience - and it really was! The enclosed blog ( if you go back a couple of posts) will give you some idea of our on-course experiences and how much fun we had. Off course, too, was a terrific experience and you're more than welcome to use me as a reference for anyone who is thinking of doing a similar tour. It wasn't a cheap trip - but it was worth every penny!
D.B., May 2010, Doonbeg and Ballybunion Ireland and St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, Iain and Lauri - thanks to all of you for putting together our trip of a lifetime - everything was excellent - even the weather cooperated the majority of the time. The places you selected for us to stay were outstanding and everyone there was most kind, helpful and took care of us in great style. Our driver, Bob, was great - he was there when he was supposed to be and delivered us safely to every place we needed to go. I think Bob enjoyed being our driver - hope so anyway- as everyone joked with him, etc. and he seemed to have a good time with it all. I plan to write to Trip Advisor.com and commend those that took care of us where we stayed and ate. Will do the same for your firm. Please thank Glynice and Jim for their wonderful hospitality shown to our group. We are grateful for all that they did and appreciate their part in making our "trip of a lifetime" all that it was. As for restaurants - the Claret Jug and the Glass House in St. Andrews were outstanding and service was exceptional. Thanks again for all that you did for us.
D.S., May 2010, St. Andrews and Turnberry, Scotland
Jeff: Just a short note to say thank you and to let you know that our recent golf trip to Ireland was great. The golf courses were great, except I doubt we would play the Ballybunion Cashen course should we make another trip. The lodging accommodations were great at all locations. We had the best weather anyone could ask for in Ireland as it only rained on our last day of golf on the 28th. Thanks for everything you did in helping me put this trip together.
D.B., May 2010, Southwest Ireland and Dublin
Jeff and Lauri , well we played our last game today at Kingsbarn ,great golf course. All went really well for this breat vacation , the hotel was great , very nice people , the golf arrangements were smooth , so all in all a great week and my partners are as well very happy , would not hesitate to recommend you and/or to do this again, thanks
G.M., May 2010, Edinburgh and St. Andrews, Scotland
Hi Lauri Just played our last round at Kingsbarns. It was a real treat. All good with the van in Scotland and everything else. I'll give you a full report when
I'm back home. Many thanks again for your great work.
(after returning home) Hi Lauri, Jeff Back safely and all very happy. Thank you both again for your great work in helping to put together a truly fantastic and memorable trip. We voted our day at St.Andrews playing the New then the Old as our best. Next was the day at Turnberry when we played the Ailsa twice. Loved Kingsbarns and rated Royal County Down very highly although it was a mongrel in the wind. Perhaps Royal Troon was the only disappointment given Ryannair flies over every 8 minutes!
Although we played a lot of golf, we coped fine with a few rub-downs and visits to the hot-tub! There were fabulous spa facilities at Doonbeg, Adare Manor, Slieve Donard, Turnberry and the Old Course Hotel. The accomodation was all great. The Old Course Hotel allowed us a great late check-out. Had amazing rooms at Adare Manor. The villa at Doonbeg with 4 rooms off a central area was great. Breakfasts everywhere were excellent. We found a couple of the early tee times a bit hard and would try for no earlier than 10am in future. As the light lasts til 10pm, there is no hurry. Some rounds took 5 hours so good to allow at least 2 hours between rounds to get lunch etc! Thanks again. We hope to do it again in a couple of years. Regards
J.G., May 2010, Old Head, Waterville, Ballybunion, Adare, Lahinch, Doonbeg, Royal County Down Ireland, Turnberry, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, and St. Andrews, Scotland
Dear Jeff, Just returned from our Scotland trip and wanted to thank you for all your company's hard work. Everything was as described and thoroughly enjoyed/ What a pleasure arriving at a golf course and they actually expected us with no vouchers. Thanks again, Sincerely,
J.L., May 2010, Troon and St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, We are back and all had a great time. We loved The Park and Doonbeg and you were right, The Moy House is out by itself and I'm glad we didn't stay there. Next trip, and we are already thinking, I would like to get a menu of costs for room upgrades. I realize one of our group was pounding to hold costs down and communicated that to you, but with hindsight, I would have upgraded. By the way, I would go back just to play Royal County Down!
J.H., May 2010, Southwest Ireland, Royal County Down, and Portmarnock
Iain, This is just a note to thank you and Lauri for putting an outstanding trip together. Everything went smoothly and we were blessed with perfect weather throughout. When the sun is shining there is hardly a better place to be than Scotland. The accommodations were uniformly excellent. The Ugadale Cottages are really the only place to stay in Machrihanish. Thanks for the upgrade. On Islay, Glenegadale House was very good with our hostess Rachel providing outstanding service. She got the vote as best service employee on the trip! The Kinloch Lodge ( my choice!) was beautifully located, the accommodations were very nice and the food excellent. The Culloden House was close to the top of our list - super convenient and great staff. In Glasgow, we stayed at the new Blythswood Hotel (the old RAC building) and I can recommend it without reservation. The courses were at their best. We were well satisfied with Hidden Links and will use your service again. Feel free to add us to your reference list. Well done and thanks again. All the best,
L.P., May 2010, St. Andrews, the Scottish Highlands, and Machrihanish
Dear Jeff, I want to thank you for all you and your company Hidden Links for arraigning such a great trip for me and my son. Everything worked out to the TEE. The hotel arrangements were perfect and the golf was fantastic. We were very pleased with our vacation and you can be sure that i will recommend you highly. I will have a close friend of mine getting in touch with you in the near future for a golf trip. Again thanks for making my sons 40th birthday special. Sincerely yours,
M.W., May 2010, Southwest Ireland
Good Morning Jeff! I just wanted to let you know that the Golf Tour you design for me and my friends is Scotland went like clock work. The rental van was perfect and all the courses you set up were awesome with no tee time delays. The weather was outstanding and can you believe it did not rain for 10 days, how is that for luck. The courses we played were in prime time condition and the people we met were so helpful and nice. I just wanted to thank you personally for the great job you did for us and allowing me to bring home some many great memories. I also would like to thank you Jeff for helping my wife locate were we went when missing the original Glasgow flight! I will always speak highly of Hidden Links and of their great employees. Thank You
Q.M., May 2010, St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Royal Troon, Prestwick, and Turnberry, Scotland
Lauri, my son and I wish to thank you and Hidden Links for your help arranging such a wonderful golf experience at St. Andrews, Scotland. Our driver, Richard, was a pleasure. He was prompt, helpful, and delightful to visit with. Our accommodations at Grayfriar's were very comfortable and perfectly located for our interests. The hotel staff were very friendly and promptly attended to a small problem I had with the room air conditioner. We were very comfortable. Your suggestion that we play Kingsbarns twice was exactly the right one. We enjoyed the course immensely. Everything seemed to go like clock work. We were blessed with very favorable weather. We got rain on three of the courses that did not last longer than twenty minutes in total. Oh yes, the whiskey was also very good. It has been a pleasure working with you and Hidden Links. Again, thank you very much.
R.B., May 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
Hi Lauri, Just wanted to let you know I was able to play the old course again on Friday. We really had the trip of a lifetime. Thank you and everyone at Hidden Links for your help. If anyone ever needs a reference please don't hesitate to use us! Best,
R.H., May 2010, Turnberry, Troon, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, and St. Andrews, Scotland
Hello Iain, I recently purchased some Ecco Street Premier shoes in brown and I liked them so well that I wanted to get them in black. It seems that they are sold out in this country. Apparently, they are available in Europe. I was wondering if you could help me purchase a pair in size 45? I appreciate any help that you can give me. Please just let me know if there is anything you need from me.
D.K., May 2010, Southwest Ireland (NO REQUEST TOO SMALL!!!)
Jeff, Thank you for another wonderful trip. We played ten rounds of golf on the most scenic golf courses in the world and did not get one day of rain (The Scotland trip three years ago we only had one day of rain for 11 rounds). Again, as with Scotland the trip went off without a glitch. You did not warn me that the last five days of the trip the temperature would be 73-80 degrees with little or no wind and sunny skies. We hit the best weather Ireland has ever had for ten days straight. The golf, the food, the accomadations, the weather, our driver and the Irish people were fantastic. Thanks to you and Lauri for another perfect ultimate golf experience.
T.R., May 2010, Old Head, Waterville, Tralee, Ballybunion, Doonbeg, and Lahinch, Ireland
Iain, Our golf trip to Ireland just wrapped up and we are back in North America. Just wanted to send you a quick note to express our gratitude for an outstanding tour put together by your team. The weather was beyond outstanding, shorts and sunscreen everyday with very minimal winds. All the courses you recommended were beyond compare. The highlight as far as accommodations go was the Killarney Park Hotel, very spacious rooms and fun atmosphere in Killarney. Also, one of the highlights was our driver Johnny. He was incredibly knowledge about the Irish history and went above and beyond his duty to make sure we had everything we needed. All in all it was an outstanding trip. We can't say enough good things about how smoothly everything went. Our many thanks to you and your team for putting together our package and making our trip a very memorable one. Much appreciated Iain,
T.R., May 2010, Southwest Ireland
Good Morning Lauri,
I met the W.B. party, Flight CO 022 at 6 55 am. Transferred the group to the Westin Hotel in the city centre. Picked up group on Friday and took them to the K Club where they played 36 holes in superb weather conditions (25C and sunny). Dropped them back to the Westin after golf. Picked up the group on Saturday and brought them to the Island Golf Club where they enjoyed golf in sunny conditions - 24C or 76 F. Dropped them back to the Westin. Picked up the group on Sunday morning and took them to Portmarnock Golf Club - again sunny and 24C - best weather so far this year. Dropped group back to Westin. Group picked up this morning at 6 30 am from Westin and transferred to Dublin Airport to catch Continental Flight at 9 am. Lead cilent and his colleagues thoroughly enjoyed their stay and were very happy with all the arrangements.
End of Report.
W.B., May 2010, typical "report" from Hidden Links driver, Dublin Ireland
Quick update. Elie was absolutely fantastic. Excellent recommendation. Next to the old course, our favorite round. Caddies came from kingsbarns and everything we were hoping for! Thx. My uncle called his friends Keith and Carolyn McGregor and Keith rode his buggy for eight holes with us and they joined us for lunch. A very special day. Off to turnberry tomorrow Blessings!
(upon return home) Iain, Our trip was fantastic. Thank you for setting up everything and working with us to make certain that the whole experience was one that we will never forget. I will wholeheartedly recommend Hidden Links to others.
W.G., May 2010, St. Andrews and Turnberry, Scotland
Dear Jeff, Laurie, and folks at Hidden Links, I know it has been a while since we had our trip (we arrived home April 29, 2010), but I thought I would check in...and thank you! Rob and I had a WONDERFUL vacation. Would you believe that we had no rain during our trip? We arrived to 14 deg. Celsius temperatures and sunshine in Dublin April 7th, and the weather only got better as our trip continued. Your itenerary package with the maps made navigating the West Coast of Ireland quite comfortable. I can't say enough about Killarney, and the Killarney Royal Hotel. Killarney was a great 'base camp' and I wanted to take up permanant residence at the Killarney Royal Hotel. It is by far the most comprehensively perfect place I have ever stayed. Rob had a grand time in Tralee, playing golf with 3 locals who made him feel most welcomed. I had lots of opportunity to hike the countryside while Rob golfed. I managed a section of the Kerry Trail when Rob played Waterville, and a 30 km hike in Kilarney Park on the day he played Old Ballybunion. Doonbeg was wild, remote, and romantic. Due to the volcanic erruption in Iceland interupting intervational travellers, it was very quiet at the lodge. The weather was phenomenal, however, and Rob loved the course on which he managed an 88. We visited the Cliffs of Moher, and toured through the Burren after Rob played Lahinch. On our arrival in Kinsale, were were upgraded to 'the Postmaster's Suite' at Old Bank House. Rob claimed Old Head to be another stunning course where he managed to break 90. The limo ride from Kinsale to Rosslare Port was lovely, comfortable, and easy, with the driver most kindly answering our many questions and pointing out points of interest. A paragraph or two is insufficient to adequately describe the wonderful time we had. I am hoping to contact you again in the future to arrange another golf vacation for my husband...with me tagging along!
C.W. April, 2010, Southwest Ireland
My trip is coming to a close and I wanted to tell you how pleased my wife and I were with all facets of the trip (except for Bob, Gianni, and Norman not making it). The lodging, golf, weather and craic were all excellent and I would not have changed a thing. The most outstanding thing about the trip was Roy's extraordinary service exceeding our expectations at every turn. Dare I say that we would unlikely return to Ireland without using him again. My wife had a shortage of medication due to her delay here and Roy helped us solve that problem and ended up driving us back to Milltown to pick them up on what was, in essence, his day off. I would gladly recommend Roy to any of your clients.
Great job, Jeff.
G.C., April 2010, Northwest Ireland, Doonbeg, and Ballybunion
Jeff and Lauri, Thank you so much for planning such a wonderful trip for us. The golf was great and so was the wind. It rained the for the first 5 holes at Kingsbarns and never rained again while we were playing. Kingsbarns was my favorite course. Playing the Old Course is something I will never forget. Got to play with Manny and Spencer from British Columbia the last 2 days. Good guys. Fit the trip in between closures of airports due to the volcano. Just adds to the stories. Thanks again and look forward to working with you in the future.
P.B., April 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff/Lauri, Safely back in Australia after the most amazing time in Scotland, and a bit of sun and fun in Italy. I'd like to thank you for organising such a great time for Peter and I at such great courses in Scotland. Everything went like clockwork - the hiring of the car and clubs, the accommodation and the bookings on the courses were as smoothe as silk. Thanks for your efforts, and hope to use you again in the future. All the best
P.H., April 2010, St. Andrews, Cruden Bay, Dornoch, the Isle of Skye, Prestwick, and Turnberry Scotland
Hidden Links made our trip one to remember. From accomodation to tee times to afordability, our trip was planned to suit our members needs. Delighted with trip, A+! Guys had a blast and they ate at Dunvegan every night! The staff at Hidden Links makes travel easy and helps make me more valuable to my club.
A.C., April 2010, Turnberry to St. Andrews, Scotland
I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your efforts in making this a great trip. It all went well even the US laocated person was able to make it. The frankfurt 5 ended up driving since the flights were cancelled but other than that it was all good. Again thanks, it was a once in a life time trip.
D.C, April 2010, St. Andrews, Scotland
The group had a great time... Thank you for your expertise.. You will be hearing more from me..
T.B., Travel agent trusting his clients to Hidden Links, April 2010, St. Andrews and Turnberry, Scotland
GOOD MORNING, LAURI & JEFF! On behalf of our group we would like to thank you both for the wonderful job you did in organising our recently completed tour of Scotland and Ireland. We thought it appropriate to comment about the superb organization that provided us with many wonderful memories during the two weeks. The timing could not have been better as far as the weather was concerned�we went to the U.K. very well prepared�everyone of our 12-strong party bore matching rainsuits, waterproof golf gloves, umbrellas and in some cases, two pairs of golf shoes! In the whole time of our trip I think we witnessed umbrellas being hoisted for maybe a couple of holes at Lundin Links. The rest of the time we were bathing in glorious sunshine and warm breezes!
The choice of hotel, "The Dunvegan" and its "Auchterlonie Suite", was absolutely top notch! We could not have asked for a better location, nor could we have expected more welcoming hosts than Sheena and Jack, or a more perfect scenario for our "de-briefing" sessions in the evenings in the Auchterlonie. The rooms were comfortable, spacious and made one feel very much at home. Having the living room/ dining space and kitchen in the Auchterlonie Suite was an absolute bonus. Our daily breakfasts were spectacular, cooked to individual order, plentiful good food that stoked us for the most part until dinnertime! We also enjoyed the pub, your staff and its famed atmosphere after the games were done. The schedule was very well timed around our golf games and provided us with ample opportunities to explore the "toon" and its multitude of golf shops littered all over. The transportation was excellent, always on time and the rides not too distant from the golf courses each day. We were also impressed with the variety of restaurants available as alternative dining spots throughout the week.
All of the Scottish courses were enjoyable, but of course the highlights were both the New and Old courses at St.Andrews. Almost everyone in our group hired caddies for the Old Course and most of us felt that this really enhanced the Old Course experience. We walked VERY TALL down that first fairway, with our various caddies toting clubs and bringing up the rear! The day was made even more special for the fact that it was the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend, the gorgeous weather attracting hundreds (maybe thousands!) of people, hanging over the rails, watching the golfers come in on the 18th�making it a very nerve-wracking, spine-tingling, exciting experience as we each finished off memorable rounds. Some of us even benefited from spontaneous rounds of applause as we shook hands! How good can this get?
Your life saving research and timely call to Jack that day, alerting us to the misinformation about our flight to Shannon from Edinburgh on Saturday, was MUCH APPRECIATED! Without you being on the ball I am not sure how our schedule in Ireland would have been affected. And, we appreciated the cooperation of the Coach Driver at such short notice having to make that very early trip to Edinburgh airport. Also, we thoroughly appreciated Jack rising at that ungodly hour to help us on our way with freshly brewed coffee to sooth rattled nerves!
Sheena was very persuasive and almost succeeded in her request for us to stay longer�apparently she and Jack really enjoyed the fact that these 12 Canajuns brought such wonderful weather with them!
Scotland was a REAL pleasure, and our time there went by far too quickly! Hopefully there will be future opportunities to enable a return visit�
My previous memory of a visit to Ireland in the early nineties was confirmed: the Irish people are so genuinely friendly! Not surprising! The countryside is lush and green and even more spectacular when bathed in sunshine�making for happy people enjoying the good life.
Once again, the choice of accommodation for our week was top notch! Killarney Lodge is beautifully appointed, comfortable, centrally located and made very welcoming by our hostess, Catherine. We continued the good food experience here in Ireland having excellent breakfasts every morning.
The golf courses were ALL interesting, but our group was almost unanimous in their overall assessment: they were tougher than anything we had experienced previously. Many of us were KILLED by these courses. Mahoney's Point and Dooks were the most sympathetic, but Ballybunion�s two beauties were so demanding of accuracy and so unforgiving if one strayed from the fairways; we did get very badly beaten up during those two days. Not to say that the experience was unappreciated, we would venture to speculate that given the opportunity to repeat, we would! One of the consolations though was the awesome scenery; because of the Seniors� Open, Ballybunion�s Old Course was set up to play tough and the rough was a serious death threat! Never mind losing a ball, we sometimes didn�t think that we would find the searching player�
At the end of our week in Killarney we were all of one opinion about James (Seamus) our bus driver, proud with his gleaming new Mercedes 12-seater coach�he rocked! He seemed to go out of his way to help us, booking times at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club at the last minute on the first day of our unscheduled arrival, taking us to the shops on several occasions for liquid refreshments and snackies, and offering advice as to good eateries and pubs to visit. His attentiveness was much appreciated by all.
Our planning for this trip involved much of the past two years; with your constant involvement to design a trip to our liking, we think you did an outstanding job, right down to the last details. From the start, the supply of DVD�s for both Scotland and Ireland helped to give us a realistic insight and feel for the experience we actually had, and they also served as useful reference points along the way. The summary booklet you provided just before the commencement of our trip, was very well put together, and again, useful to pass information on to our families who were not with us during these two weeks.
We have become very strong supporters of "Hidden Links" and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending your services to others.
Thank you again�you have given us memories that will be with us forever!
M.C., May 2009, St. Andrews Scotland and Killarney/Ballybunion, Ireland
Well, we are home, unpacked, rested, have traded pictures among each of us, and now have some of the most wonderful memories and recollections of an experience of a lifetime. Our trip was almost perfect and you were responsible. When we got to the first tee at Kingsbarns at 4:00 pm for our first round we met a group just coming off the 18th. They saw us unpacking clubs from travel bags and asked, "First day?" When we answered yes, they went into a litany of the weather they had experienced. Basically, hail, rain blowing straight sideways, everything but snow. We put on our rain gear and went to the first tee. By the time we got to the first green (395 yds later) we were in bright sunshine and peeling out of our "oilskins" and had blue skies for the rest of the week. You, of course, picked that week back in August of 2008. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the trip. Your advice on course selection (we would never have found Kingsbarns on our own), using a driver for our transportation, the choice of Craigmore Guesthouse (a three and a half block walk from the Old Course), and all the other suggestions based upon your experience in these trips were absolutely excellent. The trip couldn't have gone any better or been more enjoyable. Lauri's assistance with my tee time on the Old Course was timely and right on the money. I played an hour ahead of the other four and was able to go out with two locals (St Andrews members who were playing a match and were willing to let me tag along). I got an excellent caddie (Fraser) who the starter said was one of the best. I believe him. I finished early enough to go back and meet my buddies on the 16th green and memorialize their play on the Road Hole and Tom Morris in pictures. I can't say it often enough, you guys were terrific and I have already recommended Hidden Links to 7 or 8 friends asking about our trip. We are already talking about another trip and making it ten days instead of five.
Once again, thank you for a really memorable trip.
D.S., May 2009, St. Andrews Scotland
Jeff we are back from our golfing vacation and I must say it was a tremendous experience. Everything worked out to a tee, no pun intended, tee times and drivers very punctual, weather beyond our highest expectations and the hotels very convenient. I would play any of the courses again without hesitation. The Old Course lived up to expectations. Kingsbarns was exciting to play and beyond our expectations and may have played the hardest. Crail looked simple but sure had some bite at times. Overall a great experience. It was nice having caddies. They were usually a lot of fun and usually very knowledgeable. Thanks for your suggestions and execution. We will be in touch again sometime and I would certainly refer friends.
R.S., May 2009, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and Gleneagles Scotland
Hey Jeff, just got back yesterday and we just wanted you to know what a wonderful time we had. you did an outstanding job of setting things up and picking courses. we ended up playing all 4 days as we played gullane #3 on day 3 instead of touring Edinburgh. We did still go to glenkinchie for their tour which was way cool. thanks for putting us on Craigielaw as that turned out to be our favorite with Gullane #2 a close second, although North Berwick was spectacular also. Do you arrange trips to ireland? might be our next stop. thanks again jeff.....
S.O., May 2009, Edinburgh and East Lothian
Hi Jeff, Just a quick howdy and a very big thankyou for organising the few days at St. Andrews for me. It was just fantastic and all the bookings went like clockwork apart from British Airways send ing my clubs to Glasgow. Thank you once again, it was one of themost enjoyable and certainly one of the more memorable experiences of my life. Thanks again, Cheers,
P.E., May 2009, trip of a lifetime from Australia to St. Andrews
GOOD EVENING, JEFF! I think you might have saved our lives! Thank you for being so alert, even if it means us getting up in the middle of the night... Talk later, I have to get a few hours sleep!
May 2009, M.I.T. International Tour, Hidden Links to the rescue again!
Overall - Great trip, excellent golf courses and accommodations. I am extremely happy that you talked us into Old Head - certainly the highlight from my standpoint. I cannot think of another course with greater views and beauty. One thing that certainly came in handy from our standpoint was the GPS. Especially in some of the towns where the signage is limited, the GPS kept us on track. I would recommend it for those travelling to Ireland. thanks for all your assistance and your quick turnaround. We will be coming back to you when we look to book our next adventure. P.S. - The weather gods were on our side. We received light showers on 3 holes out of our total 180 holes!
D.R., May 2009, Southwest Ireland
We are still recovering from a great week in Ireland and digging out from a missed week of work, but here is a quick note. #1 We had a great time, and the arrangements were excellent. #2 Irish people everywhere are warm friendly accomodating and beyond customer focused. #3 Van was great, and beyond a few warnings from the oil light we were very happy with the Vito. Rental pickup and drop off were painless #4 All golf courses were amazing (too amazing for my handicap!).
- Old Head was spectacular. There is no other word. The last memory that will fade from our minds is trying to hit the fairway on #12 in a 60mph crosswind.
- Kinsale was fun, and the food was great
- Friar's B&B was great, I would recommend this to friends.
- Killarney was a great venue to stay in, and the lodging was the best, customer service #1. (they opened early twice for us for breakfast; and they prompted the request!). I would highly recommend this place to friends. Mary and Catherine were both great.
- The drives to and from Killarney were manageble, and entertaining. Thank goodness there are no tapes of the conversations in the van.
- Dingle was fun, the people at the course very nice and there was no hoards of golfers to deal with
- Waterville was fun, relatively easy when compared with Old Head, Ballybunion, Tralee and Lahinch
- Ballybunion was really hard, but very scenic, and the cashen course had some holes amongst the dunes the likes of which I have never seen.
- Tralee was difficult (for me, not so much for the others) but all enjoyable
- Lahinch was also great.
- We went adhoc on all dinners and activities, and that worked out exceptionally well.
- Bunratty was very good, and as accomodating and flexible as any of the other places, perfect as transit point to Shannon
We were really pleased with your work. We cannot go every year, but we'll be ringing you the next trip (rumoured to be west of Scotland) I'd like to have a break and play an easy course like Carnoustie. Thanks Jeff.
G.C., May 2009, Southwest Ireland
GOOD EVENING, LAURI & JEFF! Just wanted to let you know that our group is having a WHALE of a time here in St.Andrews...the hotel is FANTASTIC and the use of the Auchterlonie Suite is perfect for our group and our "de-briefing" sessions in the evening after golf. We have played Lundin Links yesterday and Elie today. The weather has been absolutely spectacular, sunny skies, warm, windless on Monday, a bloody gale today! But this is what we came for! Our hosts, Sheena and Jack are catering to our every whim: the food is excellent, the staff very friendly,we really could not ask for anything else. Thankyou for all of this...We have a very good driver (Graham) with whom I arrange pick-up times each morning, and this is working out very well for the group. Tomorrow after playing Crail, we decided to take in the "best fish and chips in Scotland" at Anstruther, so Graham is going to come and have dinner with us (our treat) and I think he is quite pleased about this! We have walked several holes on the Old course and keep pinching ourselves to make sure that this is not all a dream! It is SOOO different than the vision we see on TV. On Friday, before the Old Course round, we will have a morning session on the Ladies Putting Course and a few wagers, I am sure! This evening before dinner at the Dunvegan we all trooped down to the Swilken Bridge and persuaded a roadside observer to help us with the camera work...worked out very well: it turns out that the gent in question is the current captain of St.Andrews! What a treat...Thanks to both of you...I will write further when the trip is over.
May 2009, The M.I.T. International Tour, from St. Andrews, heading on to Ballybunion to play the Old Course in the middle of the Irish Seniors Open
Hello Jeff and Lauri, The boys from Connecticut wanted to say Thank You to Hidden Links for the absolute wonderful trip we had to Scotland !! Our trip could not have been any better. From the fabulous courses (Old,Castle,Carnoustie, and Kingsbarns), to the best place to stay on earth, to the courteous, prompt, and friendly drivers, our trip was memorable from start to finish. We were even blessed with sunny days for all four rounds ! If ever asked (and likely if note even asked), we will tell everyone who is ever thinking of golfing the Ireland or Scotland, to start with Hidden Links ! All the VERY best,
D.P., May 2009, St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, Just got back from Scotland. We had an amazing experience. Thanks for all of your great work and efficient planning. Everything went smoothly! Cheers.
J.H., May 2009, Prestwick, Dornoch, and St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, Just wanted to let you know the trip was fantastic. We played 36 a couple of days. One extra round at North Berwick and one at Jubilee. I'm going to recommend you to a friend of mine planning a Scotland trip with his father...also happens to be my boss...so take extra good care of him.
D.C., May 2009, North Berwick and St. Andrews, Scotland
We just finished a 5 day Scotland Golf trip with you.. I don't know if a simple thanks can really convey the appreciation we had for your organization. When I got home I was asked, "How was it"? The only way to answer the question, "perfect"? You folks do an outstanding job and we found everything to be exactly as you quoted prior to the trip. We will be back and will recommend your company to anyone headed your way.
V.E., May 2009, St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, Just thought I�d drop a quick email and tell you the trip was fantastic! Hidden Links took care of every detail �.I looked like a genius ( a hard feat) to the other guys�.thanks for your help and I�ll definitely recommend your group when asked.
D.S., May 2009, St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff & Lauri, I want to thank you for a great package. Everything worked out beautify and we could not have had a better time. I will be recommending you to all my friends, colleagues and random golf partners. We are all-ready working on our 2014 and 2019 trips.
R.P., April 2009, St. Andrews, Muirfield, and Carnoustie Scotland
Hi, Jeff and Lauri. We had a wonderful time-- everything went even more smoothly than we could have imagined. We even
had great weather, sunny and upper 60's some days and only one day of typical Ireland -- very windy at Portsalon but not much rain. Thanks again for all you did; it was indeed the trip of a lifetime.
B.H., April 2009, Northwest Ireland
Jeff - A great trip overall for us - THANK YOU AND THE ENTIRE HIDDEN LINKS TEAM !! Thanks also for your tips on Ireland!
B.C., April 2009, St. Andrews and the "hidden links" of Fife, Scotland
Jeff, thanks so much for your help in all this..iI know we have shifted some things around and you've been very accomodating and helpful. I want you to know, we really appreciate that and will not only reccomend you to friends, but also hopefully use you for our eventual trip to Ireland! Thanks again!
J.M., March 2009, St. Andrews and Edinburgh
M.T., October 2008, Islay, Turnberry, and St. Andrews
Hi Jeff, Well we have arrived home tired but happy. I wanted to let you know that the Golf Tour organized for us by Yourself and Hidden Links was absolutely Fabulous. It went off without a hitch from Golf bookings, transportation, meals and accommodations. The people were just delightful, friendly and very accomodating to our needs. Sheena at the Dunvegan was particularly helpful, friendly, accommodating and down right fun. Your tip about checking with the starter at The Old Course was right on as John and I went directly to the starter when we arrived on Wednesday and said "Would you have an opening for four crazy Canadians?' He said OOOOO I don't know about Canadians but Ok come back at 1:00 and I'll get you out. I don't think either John or my feet touched the ground as we ran up the hill to tell the girls we were teeing off at the old course in 1/2 an hour. It was a bright sunny, day and the thrill of a lifetime. I got up and down out of the road hole bunker and shot 78 and John was 75, including getting out of 'Hell Bunker in one, and the girls loved the experience as well. The weather was good for all the golf except Turnberry where it rained all day but it was still one of my favorite courses. While we were at Turnberry, Sergio Garcia flew in by helicopter to do a promotion for Taylor Made around the European Tours' 'Road to Dubai'. The concierge at the hotel said he received $1million for 45 minutes, not bad. Carnoustie and Kingsbarns (the girls' favorite course) were wonderful experiences and the Castle Course was fine but probably our least favorite because of the silliness of some of the greens and their undulations. Although it was worth it for the 17th hole over the gorge, which was a scary but thrilling tee shot. Anyway we can't thank you enough for the attention to detail by Hidden Links which led to the outstanding quality of the whole experience, it truly was a trip of a lifetime.
Jeff, I want to thank you for setting up one of the best trips I have ever experienced.The accommodations were wonderful, the people were great.We were fortunate to have good weather while golfing. We added the three of us playing the "New" course on Thursday, We were up early on Saturday and were the first ones to get onto the Old Course, I had a great caddy and a wonderful round with some locals. Again THANK YOU.B.B., October 2008, East Lothian and St. Andrews
It was a pleasure to meet you on the first tee at Carnoustie and to have a brief chat with you before I teed off on Sept. 25. It was a great experience to play the Carnoustie Links on my trip to Scotland, especially after not being able to play on Sept. 16 due to a flight cancellation. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I believe the Links was the most difficult (but fair) course I played in Scotland. The condition of the course was also better than any other we played. I hope all went well at the Dunhill Tournament. I believe that our trip to Scotland was very unusual as we had no rain, no heavy winds, and warm temperatures compared to what I saw on TV when watching the Tournament last week. I didn't know that Jeff's Company had such connections to control the weather when we were there. Thanks for your help in getting me to play after the 24 hour late plane arrival.
Jeff I met with the above before he teed off at Carnoustie in beautiful sunshine with temps around the mid 60's. Mr Lashar is confused and disappointed at the need to bring rainwear to Scotland, he has not needed it at all and is experiencing gorgeous weather. Obviously I apologised and explained there was little I could do but suggested he take it up with his Tour Operator. Seriously though he is having a fabulous vacation and speaks very highly of yourself and Hidden Links. No surprise there! Best Regards
D.L., September 2008, Hidden Links client letter to the GM at Carnoustie Golf Links, comments relayed back
Jeff, My apology for not sending you and your staff this note earlier. After taking the trip to Northern Ireland with my son Mike in early July, the summer became very hectic and I did not get the chance to send you this note until now. I want you and your staff to know that our trip was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had and I know my son Mike feels the
same way. Your course recommendations, hotel accommodations and travel directions were all perfect and our trip came off without a "hitch". Arriving on Sunday and playing Ardglass (with a little jet lag ) was perfect, since as soon as I saw this course and its clubhouse I knew the trip was off to a right start. What a gem of a course and yes we were blessed to play in sunny conditions, teamed up with a local member and his teenage son who were gracious hosts after the round for dinner in their
clubhouse. After spending a great night at the Donard Sieve Hotel, our next round at Royal County Down was right in line with my expectations. What more can I say that has not been said by all who walk this magnificent course. Again teamed up with great playing partners (a nice gent and his wife from Australia), the course proved to be a true test of golf and what scenery!!!
After the round, my son challenged me to climb to the peak of those beautiful mountains that ring Newcastle and after our descend, our drive across Northern Ireland to the Bushmill Inn, while long, gave me an opportunity to see what a good navigator my teenage son was as he directed me around all those "round abouts", etc. The Bushmills Inn is such a warm and inviting place and our accommodations were great. Port Stewart (our third round) allowed us to see links golf at his most challenging, since we had heavy winds and some rain. It did not stop us from challenging the course and my long hitting teenage son finally learned the value of a "choke down 3 iron", as he navigated his way around the course and found out that hitting below the wind is actually fun. Ballyliffin (our 4th round) was well worth the drive. What a great links course and the scenery going there and on the course was spectacular. Finishing with 36 at Portrush was a perfect way to end the trip. The first
18 was windy, but sunny on the championship course and the 2nd 18 a mix of heavy rain and then sun. We teamed up with a father/son twosome from Scotland for the last 18 and had a wonderful "Walker Cup" match. My son "ended up" birding the last hole, of the last round, on the last day, to give the US the cup...Our new friends from Scotland graciously bought refreshments after the round. There is something very special about playing golf with a son and especially in a setting like Northern Ireland. In addition to the golf, we took in spectacular scenery and sites, enjoyed some great food, met a ton of nice people and talked and talked some more as we played each hole as father/son and friends. I told a close friend of mine that this trip allowed me to "enjoy the kid that my son is, but also to experience the man he has become". In closing, my son has promised to take me back to Ireland after he has graduates from college (he even offered to pay), so we can re-kindle the memories of this trip and make more memories in the future. We will surely turn to your company to plan our next trip and again, thanks for putting
together a most memorable one for the two of us. I have attached a picture of Mike and I (plus some others), that was taken
on the par 3 18th on the Valley Course at Portrush (the hole Mike birdied to win our Walker Cup match-don't ask what the old man carded-actually it was not bad, but surely was not a birdie...).
C.C., Northern Ireland, June 2008
Hi Jeff & Lauri! I have not had time since I got back until now to e-mail you but I want to tell you that our trip to Ireland was absolutely fabulous!!! So thank you so much for making sure that everything was perfect!! Again, thank you for a memorable journey,
D.G., Southwest Ireland, "Ladies only" tour, September 2008
Hi Lauri, Just wanted to drop you a note this am about our trip. I had a wonderful time and you did a great job of organizing the trip. Our accommodations were wonderful the golf courses spectacular. Thanks so much for making my trip so enjoyable. Do you plan trips for couples as well or do you deal in only larger groups. I would love to take my husband back sometime.
S.B., Southwest Ireland, "Ladies only" tour, September 2008
Jeff: GREAT trip. You deserve thanks for all that went well, which was everything, except the weather, for which you share no blame. Missed the round at Royal Co Down. They said it was only second time all year they had to close for weather. Old Head had sustained winds of 50 mph, with gusts up to 70. Not really golf. Most other days included wind and rain, but that is what we expected. But we also had a few nine's that were beautiful. Driver was great. Dave at the Tides was great as was all of the lodging. Never found a pub we didn't like. We were in Dublin for the weekend of the Hurling championship, which added much amusement. Thanks for putting this together. Hope you use you again in the future.
T.T., Royal County Down (almost), Dublin, Old Head, Tralee, Ballybunion, Lahinch, on the single worst weather trip in the history of Hidden Links, still had a great time, September 2008
We had a great time-thought I'd give you a synopsis. Robin is first class and has a great coach. he took good care of the ladies. Carnoustie--great course in very good shape. Bunkers were everywhere and we visited them and the burns. A course we would replay. Hotel was above average. Dalhousie House restaurant was good. Old Course-ecstatic to get on via ballot.Course in great shape and we would have been lost without our good caddie. Castle Course-very good course, but young. It has some similarities to Bandon Dunes.Two or three of the greeens were too severe and the others were like playing Augusta National. Gary was our caddie and was the best of the trip. We would replay. Craigmore House-vg and convenient to everything. ladies loved St Andrews. We had good food at McKays, Doll House, Glass House. We had a good time at the Dunvegan and talked to Sheena. Cruden Bay- great course were we could not hit our driver in play. Murcar-excellent course with maybe the best greens on our trip. We really had a good time. Marcliffe Hotel-first class with an outstanding restaurant and staff. Staff was very helpful. We had a good meal there and at Rustico's (Italian) downtown. Royal Dornoch-this was the course I always wanted to play. Weather was about 17C with a 2 club wind-perfect. Course was in great shape. Brora-a good course. We played in a 3-5 club wind and it was a challenge. VG greens with average fairways with ample fertilizer around. Eagle/Bank House-Anna and I were at the Bank House at it was the better of the two. The restaurant was good. We ate at the Sutherland House in Dornoch our last night. It rivaled the Marcliffe for the best food of the trip. The ladies loved the town. We all want to return in a few years. You get 5***** from us.
E.S., St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, and the Highlands, August 2008
Lauri, This is just a quick overdue note to say thanks very much indeed for all your help with our trip. Everything went very smoothly and we really appreciate everything you did for us. In particular, the staff at the Craigmore House in St. Andrews was exceptionally friendly and made us feel very welcome. Nothing was too much trouble for them and all five of us were even able to play the Old Course. Thanks again, and I�ll be in touch when we�re planning our next trip. All the best
G.S., St. Andrews, Scotland, August 2008
Jeff, thanks for your efforts ... I may take you up on that rain-check for Kingsbarns ... really. I'm thinking I'd like to come back here on my own in a year or two. I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out in my head. Today I felt committed to paying with my mates, so we played Jubilee ... in high winds ... quite a bear ... I missed a couple putts just defending against being blown over! All in all, the weather is good. The Old Course was inspiring to play ... and I shot an 88 which is pretty good for a USGA 15 handicap. But scores aside, this has been an important pilgrimage for all of us. And I must say that Hidden Links has delivered nicely for us once again. We love staying close to the courses and this Dunvegan is a special place to stay ... not to mention the charm of the town itself.
L.O., Letter from St. Andrews during trip, August 2008
Lauri - You are the greatest! The guys and I cannot believe you secured tee times on the St. Andrews courses. When you called last week, the magnitude of what you told me did not sink in until over the weekend. What a relief not to worry about the Old Course ballot each day. WOW!
C.C., St. Andrews, Scotland, August 2008
Hi Jeff, I had a great time in Ireland! We met so many nice people, and of course the country is gorgeous. I really love it there. Wanted to let you know about my experience at the hotels. Perryville House was really nice, and Barry was really helpful. Breakfast was excellent. The bed and pillows were amazingly comfortable. Also, there was a computer available at no extra charge in the sitting room. And they have peat in big baskets by the fire. It wasn't cold, so they never burned the peat, but it's a great touch. Katherine at Killarney Lodge is amazing. She pampered us like no one else! She got up early several mornings to feed us before the normal breakfast time, when we had to leave early to get Dean to his golf gigs on time. On
Tuesday it rained so hard that Dean had to give up his golf game, and he came back to the hotel soaked (despite wearing all of his rain gear). Katherine dried his clothes and helped him dry out the golf bag, etc. Killarney Lodge is really nice, although the bed and pillows were kind of hard. The air conditioning was a real plus. There was a computer available at no extra charge, and Mary gave us tea, scones and biscuits each afternoon if we wanted it, which of course we did! Breakfast was delicious, too. I'm glad you booked us there for several days. It was my favorite.
D.M., Southwest Ireland, August 2008
You�re the greatest and will recommend you to all we can!
B.R., St. Andrews, Scotland, August 2008
Hi Jeff, I wanted to take a moment to pass on our thoughts regarding the recent trip we took through your company to Scotland and Ireland. Let me say that we had an absolutely awesome time and that all of the arrangements that you made came off without a single hitch. The trip exceeded our expectations. Thank you for your suggestions and the competency in all of your planning. I will not hesitate to recommend you and your company to any interested party.
L.M., St. Andrews, Gleneagles, Turnberry, and Dublin, August 2008
The trip was fantastic and we will definitely use your services again!!
A.C., Southwest Ireland, August 2008
Jeff, We all had a great time on the trip. I was very impressed with Russell the driver of the passenger van. Im not sure the name of the company, but please pass on my compliments for him. The Dunvegan was as I remembered, Jack and Sheena are the best hosts in Scotland Im sure, And the Auchterlonie suite is the best accomodations in St Andrews . You cant go wrong by booking there. I'm sure you have played Kingsbarns: Apart from the Old Course (simply for the history) I think its the best course I have ever been on. Also thanks for the push to have lunch at Muirfield. Just the opportunity to see inside the clubhouse,all of the history, it was great. We opted for another round- 40 pounds- and the sun came out for the best weather of the trip. We cant complain though, We never saw winds of over 10mph and played Carnoustie is sunny and calm weather. Thanks again for all you did, Ill be ready to head over again soon.
T.M., St. Andrews, and East Lothian, Scotland, July 2008
Lauri-Just a short note to let you know that everything went exactly as planned and we had a wonderful time.The golf courses were spectacular-we even got on the Old Course at St Andrews with our first ballot-the accommodations were comfortable ,clean and convenient;the vehicle was perfect for our needs and the weather-which you can't take credit for was great-no rain but some wind.Thanks very much for your help in organizing this fun filled adventure.I would certainly recommend your company to anyone planning a Scottish golf trip.
J.K., Prestwick, Troon, and St. Andrews, Scotland, July 2008
You can't go wrong booking your trip with Hidden Links. Jeff has done 2 for us (we are a group of 8)- Ireland in Sept '05 and Scotland in May '06. In fact we're going back to Ireland this July and the plan is Scotland in '08. The '05 trip to Ireland I think will always be special as it was our first taste of links golf. If you've never experienced links golf'- you are in for a treat! And the golf courses up the Northwest coast of Ireland are breathtakingly beautiful. Carne and Enniscrone should be on everyone's must play list, they are absolute gems! OK, they are a little off the beaten path, but that is what makes them so special as well. Royal Portrush, Ballyliffin, County Sligo, Donegal, and Narin & Portnoo were the rest of the courses we played. Also- if you get the chance, there is a nine hole course in Co Donegal called the Cruit Island Golf Club. It is worth the drive. You'll fill your smart card with pictures just from there. It makes a great seco nd round in the afternoon kind of thing. Ask Jeff about it.
Let me tell you about Jeff. We happened across Jeff and Hidden Links through one of those friend of a friend deals. Jeff will work with you and your group to set up the very best that Ireland has to offer for the budget that you give him to work with. For instance, our Ireland trip was 1st class all the way- we had a deluxe 18 seat (so there was plenty of room) Mago coach with leather seats, tables, fridge, video, nice stereo, etc. Our driver was the best- we had so much fun with him. The hotels were all first rate. The Coopershill House in Sligo was amazing as was The Bushmills Inn in Northern Ireland. However when we did Scotland we opted for lesser accomodations (still quite nice, mind you) because the pound sterling exchange rate was such a killer. But that's the beauty- Jeff will get you the best he can for the budget you give him. He takes care of every det ail. Our information packet from Hidden Links included all of our confirmations- including the names and phone numbers of the person confirming; destination guides (recommended pubs, restaurants, sites and attractions); travel tips; approximate travel times; caddies; handicap certificates (needed for Scotland); you name it- it's in there. And, everyone over there knows Jeff personally, better yet- they love him. I think Hidden Links has a great name and I felt like we got treated more personally than just another bunch of loud Yanks busing around the 'ol sod. Same goes for Scotland. Go with Hidden Links- you will not be disappointed.
S.B., October 2006, Northern Ireland, Northwest Ireland, East Coast of Scotland
I am negligent in writing to you about our trip in early October to Scotland. Everything worked out beautifully. The accommodations were terriffic, transportation arrangements were perfect, and all tee times were right on schedule. The four of us thank Hidden Links for a wonderful trip and making all of the necessary arangements. We would not hesitate to call upon your services again.S.S., October 2006, Turnberry and St. Andrews, Scotland
Hi Dan, I am writing to say thanks for arranging my trip to St. Andrews. I always enjoy myself wherever I go but my time in Scotland was ten times more exciting than I could have ever imagined. Just to see the Old Course started me smiling and I probably will be for a long time, but to actually play it was a dream come true. It is such a beautiful place, I suggest that any avid golf should go at least once. Also the old buildings and scenery are a must to see. Glynice and her staff at Craigmore were a pleasure as well. Thanks again!R.M., October 2006, St. Andrews, Scotland
I have to blame you for my slight bout of depression. Had such a great time in Ireland last week it's very difficult to get back to my regular life here.Ballybunion was superb.What a great course. Beautiful! David at The Tides Guesthouse was a superb host. Adare, Tralee, Waterville, Lahinch wow ! Mary at the Brookhaven was a peach! Great gal! Loved the breakfast at The Killarney Lodge. Catherine really took care of us. Great people. The town and the people of Lahinch are fantastic. Had a great meal at The Corner Stone Pub and Restaurant. Then sang and danced with all my new friends at The 19th Hole Pub. Closed the place. I look forward to working with you planning next year's trip. It can't come too soon. Thanks again and again and again.K.C., October 2007, Waterville, Tralee, Ballybunion, Killarney, and Lahinch Ireland
What an amazing trip- absolutely fantastic golf courses. Being in St. Andrews and having lunch at the R&A clubhouse- priceless! Muirfield was outstanding- THE best greens I've ever putted on- so much subtlety to the contours- I can't say enough about them! Royal Aberdeen was amazing- what a challenge! Carnoustie and Kingsbarns were even more amazing! And then there was Jubilee and the Old Course with all it's history- Hell Bunker, The Road Hole-- Wow!!! Let's not forget North Berwick- what a great course- so much charm, so much fun to play- as was Cruden Bay! Boy, I'm giddy all over again just talking about it. Well- you've done it again. Another GREAT Hidden Links tour. Thank you for everything! You and your staff are the best! We can't wait to go back and play the likes of Turnberry, Troon, Prestwick, Loch Lomond, Dornoch and Nairn!
S.B., September 2006, Aberdeen, St. Andrews, and East Lothian Scotland
Good morning Jeff-just back after following Ireland with a jaunt to .Italy. Jeff-you did an amazing package..it was absolutely flawless, not a single snag.......the accomodations were perfect-favourites were Blindgate and the Killarney. Royal ......the golf was heaven, the sun followed us everywhere including the day at the Ryder Cup.....I will most certainly highly recommend you to our friends. Both my husband and I were very impressed with the detail, professionalism and seamlessness of the portfolio.... Your service was top drawer!!!!!!! Many thanks-
P.B., September 2006, Southwest Ireland and the Ryder Cup
We wanted to let you know that every aspect of our trip was better than anticipated and we had high expectations. Accommodations were excellent. Each was unique. Drumnacroil House--Paula, Liam and the children really made us feel at home and couldn't do enough to accommodate our needs or questions. Coopershill House--Lindy, Brian and Simon provided a step back in time living as country gentry. Stella Maris--Frances and Terence were very accommodating and interested in our golf exploits. Speaking of golf--We walked and carried all seven rounds. Two in driving rain (The grounds supt.at Carne said "it was as bad as it gets") we loved it!! Cruit Island was breathtaking, Carne was the best, the rest were wonderful. We wanted to play links with and where the Irish play, we did. We only ran into one group of Americans. The drives to the courses gave us the opportunity to explore the countryside, find some great restaurants and shops. We spent our open night with relatives we hadn't seen in forty years. They live four miles from Stella Maris, directly across the bay. I could go on and on but I won't. We had a wonderful trip. We will be more than happy to recommend you to those we meet with an interest in a golf trip to Ireland. If you would like to have a prospective client talk to us, feel free to have them get in touch with us. Thanks again to you and your staff!!
J.K., September 2006, Donegal, Cruit Island, Carne, and Dublin Ireland
Excuse me for delaying so long in writing this note - The trip was excellent and a large part of that success was due to our driver. He is a very rare treasure. He anticipated every quirk and tried to alter or minimize it - he knew everyone and paved the road so well that his efforts went almost unnoticed. Throughout the trip he entertained us, baby sat us, educated us and provided us with safe and enjoyable transportation in a manner that made all of us adopt him as a comrade rather than a driver. We were never quite sure just when he was dead serious and when he was pulling the 'blarney' on us. Bottom line - he made Hidden Links look superb. We played 180 holes of golf and only had rain of any significance on a total of 8 or 9 holes. Problems of driver availability never came up - he managed to take us and return us from wherever we chose to dine and, quite often, we dined where he recommended. He even joined us on a couple of occasions. Should you ever be in the Pinehurst area, give us a call and we will try a round at CCNC.
J.C., September 2006, Northwest Ireland
Hello David, just wanted to tell you how much my brother and I enjoyed our trip to Ireland. The courses were great, the weather was great, the Guinness was great, and the welcome we received from you and your family was great. We couldn't have had a better time. Thanks for putting it all together, and we hope to visit again sometime in the not too distant future.
J.G., September 2006, Ballybunion, Lahinch, and Southwest Ireland
Just a short note to thank you for setting up the arrangements that made this our very best golf trip
and visit to Ireland. We had a wonderful driver, who added much to our pleasure. The golf in the North of
Ireland is a good, if not better than that in the South or even Northern Ireland.
M.W., September 2006, Carne, Enniscrone, County Sligo, and Donegal Ireland
Jeff, Well, my feet are back on terra firma and I finally have an opportunity to write and thank you for all the work you did on our trip. We had a wonderful time. Our accommodations were wonderful (loved the Killarney Lodge). I don't know if the driver we hired in Scotland reports directly to you or if he has some other chain of command, but I want to especially commend him. He made the day so much nicer. If I were about 40 years younger, I'd have a crush, but I'll have to settle for adopting him. Thanks again for all your help. We'll look you up if we ever go again.
N.M., September 2006, Southwest Ireland and St. Andrews, Scotland
David: Just wanted to tell you what a great time we had in Ireland. The courses we had were great. No offense, since you are a member of Ballybuinion, but the following is the consensus of the group of our favorites: #1 Lahinch #2 Tralee #3 Ballybunion #4 Waterville #5 Cashen Course. We loved Bally, but it was definitely the toughest course we played of the 5. I am a 6.9 USGA handicap and shot 89 at Bally, a 90 on Cashen, a 85 at Lahinch, a 84 at Tralee and a 79 at Waterville. We all thought the Cashen was pretty good. All the courses were great, so being #5 still isn't bad. We thought your place was by far the nicest and is the nicest place I ever stayed at. The Killarney Lodge was also great as was the Tides. All in all it was a great trip. Great courses and great accommodations. Thanks again for all your advise and for your hospitality.
D.N. September 2006, Ballybunion and Southwest Ireland
Hi David, Just arrived back home to Australia and wanted to make this my first email. Really cannot thank you enough for your hospitality, organisation and all round good job .You really are a genuine good bloke. We had a tremendous time thanks to you and Jeff in the States. Our whole trip was flawless and ran like a Swiss clock. Everything in Jeff's folder worked perfectly. The highlight was certainly meeting with your good self. If you ever do consider a trip to Australia , I would be so happy to ensure I treat you as well as you treated us. Thanks again.
A.B., September 2006, Ballybunion and Southwest Ireland
Just wanted to give you some feedback on the trip. First of all it was Great. As far as the courses go, Gleneagles, Nairn and Royal Dornach were at the top of the list. We all had our individual favorites but we all agreed that Gleneagles was probably the best course we ever played. After that I would rank Boat of Garten, Brora, and Moray Old in that order. Each had things that were unique to that course, such as cows, sheep or jets. All the accommodations were fantastic. People were great, beer was cold. Thanks again for all your help.
D.N., September 2006, Dornoch, Nairn, the Highlands, and Gleneagles, Scotland
My husband and his father were thrilled with the trip and if they ever do something similar, we will contact you. We will tell anyone interested in a golf tour about your company. Many people they
met while over there were wishing they had found your outfit before they went. (One gentleman stayed at a 5 star hotel in St. Andrews because they promised him a round on the Old Course. After 4 days, he finally lined up at 3am to get on himself.) Thank you again.
N.P., August 2006, St. Andrews, Scotland
It's been just 1 week since we have returned from Scotland, but looking at the pictures and recounting the stories to friends and family ,you put together a fantastic trip for us. From the time we arrived at the Rusacks Hotel at noon and there was a message form your office that you somehow secured a tee time that day for us at 2PM. The course selections were fantastic and getting to each course with the directions you provided was spot on. I have told many people about Hidden Links and the service that you provide. Maybe next year we'll look at Ireland as a golf holiday.
R.P., August 2006, St. Andrews, Scotland
Hey jeff, just got back to the office & all i can say about golf in Ireland is WOW, unbeleivable. i can't say enough about the quality of courses, motor coach & accommodations that you set us up with. to the man, every single guy in my group came up to me at some point last week & expressed how impressed they were with the entire tour, so I figured I would pass that along to you. Pat was a great driver & hopefully he had a good time with us as well. we definitely lucked out wih the weather, one rainy day at Lahinch, but I wore shorts the rest of the time. we only had about 10 mile an hour winds or so at Old Head, so we really lucked out there-didn't even need a jacket or windshirt it was so warm. Every course was exceptional in it's own way, Waterville was very windy & for us proved to be the sternest test of golf, but it was well worth the drive out there. Anyhow, I couldn't be more satisfied with the service and tour that Hidden Links provided. I look forward to the chance to book some more groups with you in the future & hopefully, I can get back to Ireland very soon with a smaller group of friends so i am not in charge of so much hand holding. Anyhow, if you are ever out in san diego, i would love to take you out golfing. This group is definitely going to do Scotland in 2008, but hopefully I will have a group or two for you in 2007. Take care & keep em long and straight.
B.B., August 2006, Southwest Ireland
We had a great trip, walked our behinds off. We played 36 holes almost everyday. I had my 15 minutes of fame on 18th at OLD Course, I almost had a birdie and "The Gallery" cheered. Mentioned your name at the Dunvegan,Sheena says hello. Talked to other Americans who were not too happy with their trips to date. They have your contact info and I have their b-cards. They play every year. Thanks again for a great trip...
M.K., August 2006, Dornoch, Cruden Bay, and St. Andrews Scotland
My husband Jim and son Shawn returned last week from one of your golf tours to Ireland. I am hoping you can help me with something. Your tour was the trip of a lifetime. He raved about it and would love to do it again someday. His birthday is coming up soon and I would like to surprise him with bag tags from as many of the courses as possible, but at least one! Is there any way you can direct me to someone in Ireland who could help me to do that. I would be very very grateful.
J.M., August 2006, Southwest Ireland
Jeff - Just a note to thank you again for your efforts in making our trip a huge success. It was all I had hoped for and more. I know the others in our group agree with me. The people and the golf was terrific. We particularly enjoyed our stay at the Dunvegan. Jack and Sheena really treated us right. And we had a great driver in Alan. All of the drivers were polite and on-time but Alan was especially helpful and informative.
G.L., August 2006, St. Andrews Scotland
Jeff, I wanted to give you feedback while my trip was still fresh in my mind. We had a great time !!!! I really appreciate your efforts on our behalf. Hidden Links did a great job of determining our needs ( type of accommodation, golf course etc.) and everything was taken care of ahead of time, making it very easy for us to just enjoy the vacation. The accommodations were a perfect blend of luxury and Irish country living. We were hosted wonderfully in every location and the trip was very well planned logistically to allow us to experience several different places. The golf was spectacular. One particular favorite was Ballybunion (old) where we were the first tee time of the day and saw virtually no one else on the course. The course is a good challenge, but very fair. Also, if there is a more beautiful golf course in the world, than Old Head, I haven't seen it and don't expect to.( birdied the Razor's Edge) Thanks again. I won't let any of my friends go to Ireland without you.
E.P., August 2006, Southwest Ireland
What an incredible trip! From our viewpoint, Tom and I would like you to know that we appreciate your efforts in providing us with a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. I�m pretty sure that all of the group would agree with me that the first comment about the trip should be that we were very pleased with our bus driver. We couldn�t have asked for a more knowledgeable and professional individual. The decision to let someone else handle the driving was definitely the right choice! Joe went �above and beyond� his job description to ensure that we had a memorable trip. From assisting us in transporting our luggage to recommending places to eat, Joe could not have been more accommodating to our schedule. He really became a part of the group, and our overall experience was so much better thanks to his efforts. Playing the links courses added a new dimension to our appreciation of the game of golf! I know that weather conditions and caddie preferences influenced our opinions, but in general, I think that the round at Tralee was our favorite (especially for Tom, who had an eagle on the 18th hole). Waterville was a close second, and Royal Portrush was especially memorable because it was the only course where each of us had an individual caddy. At Royal County Down, the 6200 yard plus course was just brutal for the ladies (wind plus rain � including lightning!), but just the fact that we played was significant in and of itself. And finishing at the Old Course at Ballybunion was the perfect conclusion to two weeks of Irish golf! Accommodations wise, it�s tough to beat the K Club. We paid (really, overpaid) for it, but there wasn�t any better on the trip � right down to the rubber duckie in the tub! I think that most of us enjoyed the Bushmills Inn and Dunraven Arms very much. The Killarney Lodge was also a good choice, the hospitality was second to none. Katherine was extremely accommodating to our needs, and the breakfast menu was one of the best of the trip (I particularly enjoyed the cinnamon toast with bananas). While golfing was incredible, the food in Ireland was a close second! We had meals in a wide variety of places, and never left hungry. The soups and chowders were always delicious (not to mention very hot!), and everyone had at least one �toasted special�. In Killarney, the menu at Murphy�s Pub was very good, while the Italian restaurant Cuccinos was just outstanding. While the Jeromes were at the wedding, the rest of us took a day trip to Kinsale. We highly recommend the Fishy Fishy Caf� for their lunch � and a good wine selection, too. Each one of us will have special things that he or she will always remember. In addition to the golf, I enjoyed the Irish whiskey tasting at Bushmills, watching Gaelic football match at a local pub, and mingling with the race week crowd in the streets of Galway. While golfing certainly took up most of our time and energy, the total Ireland experience was so much greater than how we played. We appreciate your efforts in our behalf, and look forward to working with you in the future (heard there a few courses in Scotland worth playing).
T.M., August 2006, Circle tour of Ireland, K Club, Northern Ireland, Northwest Ireland, Galway, Ballybunion, Killarney, and Kinsale
Just wanted to thank you for setting up a superb trip! All the details were covered and the accommodations perfect. You were right about Greywalls it was fabulous. Thanks again
L.A., August 2006, Turnberry, East Lothian, and St. Andrews Scotland
Sorry to be so late reporting on our trip. In a word, "outstanding". What a motorcoach. We were not expecting anything that large for eight guys, it was great. Will be hard-pressed to self-drive after that. Bertie was great too, he has that Irish humor and hung out with us several evenings and for several meals. He was a lot of fun and very accommodating. I hurt my back one day and he drove me around Sligo to a doctor's office and then to a drug store. Donegal was a good course to play the first day. Not crowded, fairly flat, and could play it without caddies. What a good time we had at Paula Duffy's B&B. She was so personable as were the four kids. Ballyliffin was one of my favorite Irish courses. It was a beautiful day with a two-club wind. We had two female caddies who were excelllent. Rosapenna was a challenge, the hardest nine holes I've ever played. Rosses Point was very enjoyable for the guys. (I didn�t play there because of my back.) It rained with some wind so the boys got a full taste of some typical Irish conditions. They had a good time with it. We wouldn�t play in those conditions here in the states. It never was too cold anywhere. The Radisson was comfortable. We pubbed that night having dinner at Fiddler�s Creek Pub which was good. We did some pub crawling after that. Sligo was a fun town as Donegal would have been had we more time there. On to Enniscrone and another wonderful course, especially the back nine. A good weather day. Sun and a three club wind. Drove to Belmullet after that and reached our lodging in the middle of an Irish wedding at Broadhaven. I had played Carne before. The back nine there is my favorite in Ireland. Closely followed by the back nine at Tralee and Ballybunion from hole seven on. Rain, sun and wind. We had a great trip. We will definitely use you the next time we go. Paula and Bertie spoke highly of you. Glad we were there before the heat wave heat. We like the challenges. Thank you for your assistance.
J.A., August 2006, Northwest Ireland
It just dawned on me that I forgot to send a thank you note for the outstanding trip that you put together for us in May. A great time was had by all even though three of the party managed to get lost on the trip over. I guess no matter how many times some people are told to allow plenty of time for international travel, they feel they can run from gate to gate and make all connections. I just want to take the time to thank you for a superior job. Alll the accomodtations and course reservations went off without a single hitch. Your services were absolutely outstanding and I will not hestitate to recommend you to all my friends that are planning a trip to Scotland or Ireland in the future. It will be at least a year before the lads dry out from the last adventure and I will most definately be in touch for an Ireland trip in the next year or so. I have always said when you find a quality product or service, "stick with it" Your selection of hotels, course reservations and advice on the Old Course reservation system proved to be outstanding. Thanks again and please feel free to use my name as a reference.
E.B., July 2006, St. Andrews, Scotland
Jerry and I would like to add our sincere thanks for a wonderful schedule and trip. Every detail went like clockwork thanks to your hard work. Every hotel was a delight and the Hazelbank in St. Andrews could not have been more wonderful. Since our return some of our friends have asked about your tour company. We have heartily recommended they contact you when they are ready to schedule that �once in a lifetime� experience.
C.N., July 2006, Highlands and St. Andrews Scotland
Just wanted to loop back around to you with some feedback on our trip.......simply GREAT is the only way to describe the experience we had. Everyone was thrilled! The Dunvegan was awesome. Jack and Sheena are a hoot and great hosts. Here's some quick notes for you: The Old Course is what it is and I'd play it again on every trip, but it's certainly a bit odd with the short par fours. I parred the road hole then birdied 18 though which will be a golf memory forever. And, Eden was a good warmup. Great idea! Muirfield was certainly a unique experience with the formality of the whole experience, but that's not a bad commentary just that it was different. We actually got turned back from the gate as we were 90 mins early for our teetime rather than the appropriate 60 mins early arrival expected. The foursomes in the afternoon was a great experience for all. Kingsbarns was a favorite......a trip highlight. It was great to have that experience particularly with the Open passing through there again in '07. We're already in motion on Ireland for Summer, 2008. Let me know when we should start planning for that. Cheers!
T.G. July 2006, St. Andrews and East Lothian, Scotland
Good morning Jeff, I would like to thank you for assisting us with a most enjoyable trip to St. Andrews. Everything you did for us was top notch, and we couldn't possibly have experienced such a great time without your assistance. From arranging The Hotel Dunvegan, to playing golf with Tom Gallacher, your choices were superb! To say Tom was a nice man would not do him justice, and his hospitality was so greatly appreciated by all of us! Without fear of equivocation, I would recommend, and I already have, you and Hidden Links to anyone. Again, thank you so much!
G.L., July 2006, St. Andrews Scotland
Well Jeff, what can I say but you again put together a first class trip. We had so much fun. The group was great and everyone got along. There was a last minute cancellation of one of the non-golfers. Still am not sure what happened there but since it was my boss I did not want to push the issue. First off, we had the best driver there was and I want you to know how great he was. He went out of his way for us. He was very knowledgeable and just overall a great guy. Everyone thought he was phenomenal. The Killeen House was great. We did not see much of Michael but plenty of Geraldine. I actually think the best food we had in Ireland was our dinner there. It was just fabulous. We ate at the recommended places in town but I still liked the food the best there. The courses were great. My personal favorite again was Lahinch. I just loved it there (of course this was also my best scoring day as well I shot an 87). I have to say my next favorite was either Tralee or Waterville. Both were great. A lot of people enjoyed both of those as well. Old Head � I am glad I played it but I thought the other courses were more fun and had better greens. The scenery was unbeatable but the scenery is pretty impressive at the other courses as well. By the way, the day we played Waterville we saw both Stuart Applebee and Mark Calcavecchia, they said they were warming up for the Open. Pretty cool. Well Tony and I have already started to talk about our next trip over. We figure we will need to go every other year so that we can still go other places. But I think I have found my heaven on earth in Ireland. What I think I will change the next time is play some of the courses more than once. I kept saying I wish I was playing this course tomorrow because I would have done this differently etc. Jeff, I cannot tell you how much fun we had and am so thankful to have found you to put together these vacations for me. You will definitely be hearing from me again in the future. Thank you so much for everything.
D.F., July 2006, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, Tralee, Old Head, Ballybunion, and Lahinch in Southwest Ireland
Our foursome was there 6/22 - 7/1. We were very happy with the trip. The accommodations were excellent. The golf courses were great. Everything was well-organized. The driving directions were well done. We enjoyed the golf, the scenery, and the people. Thank you for an outstanding job and for making this a lifetime experience.
F.S., July 2006, The Scottish Highlands--Dornoch, Nairn, Boat of Garten, and Cruden Bay
As you can see, we are back from a great trip to Scotland. You are lucky to be a member at Royal Dornoch! What a spectacular course! I just wish that we had been there to see it with the gorse in bloom.I probably would have stayed there for the rest of the trip. By the way, they loved the hats that I had made up! We all wore them there for our first round. The first time we played it, I shot a 76, as I mentally prepared myself to play a good round there. The second day, the two par 3's in the front, killed me! The town was fun, as well as the hotel and pub. Gleneagles is just beautiful and tough. The course conditions were great, and the greens were fast compared to some of the others. We had a wonderful time at the Dunvegan, and Sheena and Jack couldn't have been nicer, as well as their staff, especially Helen. We had the suite above the golf shop, and it was a lot of fun, a bit noisy at night, but fun. We played Kingsbarns in a heavy fog up to about the 16th hole, and then it cleared up. We all loved Brora and Elie, both are a lot of fun, and a good change of pace from the other courses. Carnoustie was a bit foggy, and true to it's toughness, although one of the guys did shoot a 73. We had no problems at the Old course, and the conditions were very good. Muirfield is as tough as they come! We had a very nice time there, the lunch was a nice experience, although it was very hot inside. Overall the trip was a lot of fun, and as usual time flew by. Thanks for all your excellent work on this trip, and the ease that we were able to check in to the hotels and golf courses, it was great.
L.C., July 2007, Dornoch, The Highlands, St. Andrews, and East Lothian Scotland
Hi Jeff--Just a short note to let you know that we are, unfortunately, back in the good 'ol USA from our wonderful five days of golf in glorious Ireland. Can't tell you how much we enjoyed the trip and how beautifully you helped us plan for the "Trip of a Lifetime"!!! God was certainly with us as far as the weather was concerned. We played in the rain for TWO HOLES the first day at Lahinch and that was it!!! Some cloudiness at Doonbeg and Ballybunion, but nothing but blue skies and 70 degree weather at Tralee and Old Head. All of the arrangements were fabulous, but we cannot say enough about The Tides Guesthouse and David and Doreen Walsh. Everything about the place was first rate from his joyous welcome to the rooms (one suite), the decor, to Doreen's scrumptious pancakes!! We would go back there to stay for an entire week of golf anytime. We took caddies at every course and the two at Tralee are not to be missed by any golfers you have playing there. Dominic and Dan were so outrageously funny, helpful, and gregarious that we invited them to savor a few Guinness at the end of the round. Our driver Anthony was extremely punctual, informative, and friendly and we asked him to join us for dinner almost every night. I took a consensus vote of the favorite courses and we were nearly unanimous in our rankings. Old Head and Tralee for scenic splendor, Ballybunion for classic design and toughness, Doonbeg for elegance, gracious servitude by staff, and club house magnificence, and Lahinch for a rude awakening to the rigors of Irish golf. So there you have it. Four happy golfers who would go back again tomorrow to experience true links golf, the warm hospitality of the Irish people, and of course, imbibe in a few more Guinness---just to help the Irish economy. Thanks again for all you assistance and your exquisite choices.
B.K., Southwest Ireland, July 2007
The golf courses were all outstanding. Links golf at its best.... Lahinch was certainly our favorite. A wonderful true test of golf in a fabulous setting. Old Head was the most beautiful ... almost like being in a movie. An experience I will never forget.. and I do intend to play Old Head and Lahinch again on another trip. The old course at Ballybunion was also a great course. We enjoyed the golf and scenery at Waterville and Tralee. Thanks for putting the trip together, and give David Walsh our best. He was a true gentleman. Thanks him again for bringing my golf clubs to the course during the middle of the round(lost luggage at airport).
D.R. Southwest Ireland, July 2007D.H., July 2006, St. Andrews, Scotland
Hi Jeff -- To sum it up the entire trip was awesome. The hotel (Barns) was excellent, especially the staff and the locals who frequented the pub at night � engaging, warm and humorous. The weather ranged from misty mornings to sunny and hot and a little rain �sprinkled� in. The Barns, The Grange, The Dunvegan and the Road Hole Grill were all excellent choices for dinner. And what can you say about the golf? Just plain magnificent, especially the Kingsbarns course � superb. The Old Course was a treat, Ellie a little challenging and Crail is a don�t miss. Thanks to you and your staff for making everything just plain wonderful. When we go again we will definitely book with you. And by the way, I thought the driving was right up there with the golf! Many thanks,
We returned last night from our trip to Ireland and everyone had a wonderful time!!! We learned a lot about visiting this beautiful Island. Our favorite places to stay were: Stella Maris, Killeen House, Coopershill House, Adare Manor, and Dromoland Castle. The food was out of this world but Francis at Stella Maris was a master chef and our dinner there was out of this world. The food at the Killeen House was not far behind. Mike and Geraldine ran the best establishment for that size Inn and was voted our favorite even though in all honesty Stella Maris, Coopershill, and The Killeen House were all unique in their own way and we would highly recommend them to anyone traveling to that region. Our next trip we do want to spend more time at Adare Manor. As far as pure beauty is concerned it took the prize. The last suprise is that given a choice between playing Cashen or "the old course" at Ballybunion I would choose Cashen every time. It was a great up and down true links course and a lot of fun to play and walk. Another party at The Tides felt just the opposite. This goes to prove everyone has their own opinion. Thank you very much for arranging a very special trip for my friends and myself we had a spectacular time!
J.S., June 2006, Northwest and Southwest Ireland
Hi Jeff, we made it back from Ireland no worse for wear. Great trip! The golf was terrific as were the accommodations. The weather was good for the most part except at Royal County Down, gale force winds and rain made it impossible to play more than the first nine holes. Our two favorite courses were Doonbeg & Portstewart, due in part by getting some really good caddies. Our favorite accomodations were Bushmills Inn & Stella Maris. We had a great driver who really took good care of us. He knew where the best pubs were and had a great sense of humor. We will be requesting him when we book our next trip! Thank you for suggesting we upgrade to a bigger transport, we got a 12 passenger bus which was very comfortable. Favorite restaurants were Shanahans On The Green, The Atlantic Hotel, & Vaughans.Thanks again, I look forward to working with you on our next trip to Ireland.
B.P., Circle tour of Ireland, Dublin to Old Head via Northern Ireland, Northwest Ireland, Lahinch, Ballybunion, and Kerry
(Referral note to friend): I hope this email doesn't come as a complete surprise. As you may recall you joined our group at Kingsbarns (and it cost you one UK pound). As promised I have provided the information of those who helped with our golf and vacation arrangements. Our overall trip was planned and arranged by Hidden Links, they managed quite nicely through all the changes etc that we kept throwing at him. It came off without a hitch (even the weather). The firm has done it's research well. All of the accommodations they arranged were terrific and the tour driver in Ireland certainly knew his way around. Our driver in Scotland especially went out of his way to make our time enjoyable and interesting. While we did play five rounds in Scotland we also spent a considerable amount of time as tourists. Our driver took our suggestions and interests and turned them into a great time, including making the arrangements for our round at Kings Barns. Hidden Links did a fine job for us. The invitation to play here in Maine still stands if you get here for the fall leaf season.
S.R., June 2006 Southwest Ireland, Dublin, and St. Andrews, Scotland
Jeff, everyone made it back. As you suggested, we were so exhausted by Wednesday, we did not play the round on the New Course. Did get in a couple rounds on the Himalayas that afternoon with the old ladies. Great experience at Elie when Denise stayed 1 � hours after closing to fix us some sandwiches and chips along with a couple of pints. Went out of her way to help us. So for a 38₤ tab, she got a 30₤ tip. Think she was happy.
S.M., June 2006 Ayrshire and St. Andrews Scotland
Dear David: Brian and I returned from Ireland on Sunday. What a great experience! The weather held up nicely for the remainder of our trip after Ballybunion. I am glad we made the trip around the Ring of Kerry, what a beatiful ride! Dooks alone was well worth it, a true "hidden gem". Our game got better and better each day culminating with a great day at Old Head. What a magnificent setting for a golf course. It was just spectacular and a fitting end to our trip. Brian and I want to thank you and Doreen for being such gracious hosts during our stay at Ballybunion. You both made our experience that much better. The Tides Guesthouse will surely be on my recommendation list for my friends. There is no question we will be back sooner than later. Once again thanks for a very enjoyable stay and the pleasure of your conversation and hospitality.
D.K., June 2006, Ballybunion and Southwest Ireland
Jeff: Many thanks, again, for a trip planned to perfection. The course were, well.......; the accommodations and the hosts went above and beyond, etc. I just wanted to thank you again and to report that the trip was exceptional.
J.F., June 2006, Southwest Ireland
We arrived home last night from our trip to play golf in Scotland, today I only wanted to thank you for a fantastic agenda. I will email you later with some details. Thanks again, the "Brush Creek Boys."
T.R., June 2006, Muirfield, St. Andrews, and Carnoustie Scotland
Just wanted to drop you a short line with some feedback from our recently concluded Scotland trip. First, the logistics were excellent and the entire trip from start to finish was smooth sailing. Many thanks to you and the Hidden Links team for making our experience so positive. The arrival in Glasgow was easy, with the baggage claim, rental car counter, rental car lot and a Starbuck's all within a 50 yd. radius. Troon was a blast. The Postage Stamp got it's pound of flesh and The Railway is among the best par 4's in the world. The Westin Turnberry was nice as expected and we were able to squeeze in some time at the spa. We had a perfect weather day for Ailsa (the weather overall was quite good - no rain), and the Kintyre course was a pleasant surprise. It's more American in layout and style (the golf is just OK) but is built on a perfect piece of property with some spectacular hilltop views. Greywall's was off the charts, starting with the drive into the courtyard. As advertised the rooms were spacious and well appointed. There was even a proper shower in the bathroom, the ultimate UK luxury. The food, wine list, and bar were all first rate and the service was very friendly and welcoming. I'd stay there again even if not playing Muirfield. Gullane was great (both courses), with the back 9 on #1 giving us all we could handle into the wind. North Berwick was both fun and challenging and is always a highlight. The caddies at both venues were first rate. Well that about covers the highlights. All in all it was a great trip and we are looking forward to Ireland in 2008. Thanks again for the great arrangements.
M.H., June 2006, Turnberry, Troon, Muirfield, and St. Andrews Scotland
You did an unbelievable job with logistics and everyone had a great time. 75 degree temps and sunny skies didn�t hurt a bit either.
M.G., May 2006, Shannon to Old Head to Waterville via helicopter, then on to Ballybunion and Doonbeg via deluxe coach
Just a note to say thanks and report that all went quite well this past week. The golf was fantastic and for my first time to Carnoustie we had a four club wind. Wow! That North Sea side is tough, but, memorable and my foursome fell in love with all the Open courses to include the wind monster. We all need something to remember for next year's Open on television. Keep your formula going as is. It's the way to go, rooms, tee-times, and door-to-door trans. Two thumbs up. Thanks for all,
G.T., May 2006, St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and Royal Troon, Scotland
I want to thank you for the fine job you and your firm did for our Scotland trip. It unfolded as smoothly as silk, and we had a wonderful time. The courses were beautiful, the people were friendly and efficient, the hotels were precious, and the food was delicious without exception. I plan to take a similar trip to Ireland next year and will be calling you when I know the dates involved.
C.L., May 2006, Royal Dornoch, the Highlands, and St. Andrews, Scotland
I just wanted to say what a wonderful trip to Scotland I had. It was everything that was promised and more. When I say more I mean that even when my flight was delayed in Atlanta for over four hours and my first tee at Muirfield was missed, Jeff stepped in and totally saved the day. Not only did he come up with great suggestions concerning options he completely
rearranged my first four days and nothing was sacraficed in the process. Greywalls was great, Turnberry was great, and the weather was perfect-- not a drop of rain! Let me say in closing that I found every contact with your company to be extremely professional and accommodating with the client completely in mind. I look forward to contacting you next year for Ireland.
S.W., May 2006, East Lothian, St. Andrews, and Turnberry Scotland
We just got back from our trip and let me tell you it was better than I could have hoped. The accommodations, the driver, the bus, and of course the golf were all fantastic. You guys put together a great package!
D.C., May 2006, Southwest Ireland
Just wanted to give you a quick buzz to extend our appreciation on a wonderful trip!!! Everything went great, we had no problems at all through the entire trip!!! The courses were great (and tough as &^#*), and everyone enjoyed an experience of a lifetime!! Many of us want to go to Ireland in '08, so I will give you a buzz next year to plan another great outing!
B.F., May 2006, St. Andrews and Troon, Scotland
Just returned from the trip.. Fantastic was the word by all. All wanted to express our congratulations to the exquisite service we received at our locations The staff at both locations went out of their way to make sure we were taken care of. The taxi service was very promnmpt and couteous. Soecial thanks to Russell to got us back to the airport and our first driver who picked us up, whose name I have forgotten, did an outstanding job of pointing out all the sites along the way. Courses were outstanding and the group will most definetly recommend your service to any future clients. Thanks again.
J.H., May 2006, St. Andrews and East Lothian, Scotland
Thank you so very much for our lovely surprise of cookies and chocolates which have just arrived. You are so kind all of you and we don't expect anything for helping you help your golfers have a great holiday. So this is a real treat - you definitely know how our admin office loves biscuits or chocolate. Mmmmm! You are definitely our No.1 tour operator! (even without the edible goodies). A pleasure to work with.
May, 2006, from one of our favorite golf courses in the British Isles, unamed for their protection!
The guys had a blast on the trip. You did a great job planning the trip. They loved the driver and the motorcoach. The courses were great and weather was clear.....Have a great day!
A.B., May 2006, Southwest Ireland
Hi Jeff....this note is way overdue but we had such a wonderful time in scotland!! the places we stayed at were just fabulous! Greywalls was exceptional....the golf was perfect! My husband was so excited to play on each and every one of them!! And thank you so much for pairing him up with Tom Gallagher....he so enjoyed playing with him at St Andrews and Muirfield!! And the weather....really great for us!! 50's and partly cloudy....the little bit of rain we had never interfered with our plans!! Well thank you again for putting together a wonderful birthday trip for my husband...me too as i soooooo enjoyed the countryside!!!! I was ready to buy a little farm in the country and raise sheep!! :o)) My husband is a member of Prairie Dunes in Kansas and he said if you ever need help getting on the course to let him know!! Thanks again for a great great trip!!!!
S.C., April 2006, St. Andrews, Muirfield, Carnoustie, and Turnberry, Scotland
A quick note to let you know Dan and I had a fabulous time in England. Everything exceeded our expectations! We enjoyed the golf, especially the pace of play. Every round was under 3 hours, even one following a tournament! The weather was great, better than at home, but we were fortunate enough to get some wind and rain at Royal West Norfolk so we could experience the links at their best. Thanks again!
G.B., April 2006, Norfolk and London, England
Wanted to let you know we had a great trip to Scotland. The courses were terrific with vistas I never expected. Good weather also...temperatures averaged in mid 50's...good golfing weather. Windy everyday but understand typical conditions this time of year. The courses were tough, but I'll never forget playing the Old Course on our last day and was lucky enough to birdie # 18...what a way to end the trip.
T.W., April 2006, St. Andrews, Carnoustie, and East Lothian, Scotland
I need to ask you for a favor. My golfing buddy did something stupid and I'm hoping you can touch base with the nice folks at Aureol House to make sure I don't owe them some money. Apparently, he fell asleep with a beer in his hand and ultimately spilled the entire thing on the bed. He dried it up but I can't imagine it didn't cause a major stain--it was a Boddington's. For some reason, he was too embarrassed to tell them and just now told me. Can you make sure he didn't ruin anything? Hopefully, they won't think too poorly of your clientele. BTW, the golf was great!
J.P., February 2006, Royal Lytham & St. Anne's, England
We got back safely on Sunday night and I wanted to let you know how well things went. Every course was perfect and the weather cooperated pretty well. The driving instructions that you sent were invaluable. I really don't think we'd have found anything without them. If you need a reference for future clients, don't hesitate to ask. Thanks again.
J.P., October 2005, St. Andrews, Scotland.
Returned to the States last night after our 8 days in Southwest Ireland and wanted to drop you a quick line to tell you what a wonderful trip we had. The information package was great and provided answers to all of our questions. The rental car was ready and waiting for us on arrival. As you know we chose to stay in 5 different bed & breakfasts so it required some daily travel - I wanted to say that the directions were excellent and made the adventure that is "driving in Ireland" much less hecic. All of the B&B owners were waiting on our arrival and made us feel right at home. Connie from An Tintean was nice enough to call over to the course and move us up to 9:50 am which worked out perfectly for us. We plan to return to Southwest Ireland in a coupld of years for another trip and will be booking our trip again through your company. We will spread the word about Hidden Links as it truly was a great trip that went off without a hitch.
M.L., October 2005, Southwest Ireland
Have been back almost 7 weeks and have been lax in contacting you. We had the most wonderful time in Ireland and would go back in a minute. All accomdations were absolutely perfect, golf courses spectacular and the people unbelievable........You outdid yourself with our accommodations at Killarney Park Hotel, probably the best stay of the trip. Your planning allowed us to play golf, make trips, see the sites and just enjoy the great hospitality of the Irish people. Our trip started at Lahinch and we had a caddie by the name of Mike, who out did himself, with knowledge, stories and laughter. Each trip and round was even more beautiful, ending with Old Head which was probably the best golf course we have ever played. We were fortunate to have good weather at worst and fantastic weather most of the time. Anyone who has asked about the trip, we have passed on your name for future plans. Thanks again for everything and hope to be talking with you again about the next trip.
J.W., September 2005, Southwest Ireland
Had a great trip. We really lucked out with the weather. The facilities were excellent and we really loved the Killeen House. The Rosners and Charlie were great hosts and really took great care of us. Everything went smoothly. Once again thanks for planning a great trip and if you wish to use us as references please do so.
J.B., September 2005, Southwest Ireland
It is Thanksgiving here in Canada so I thought it appropriate to send a note of thanks for our trip. It was truly a memorable adventure and we cannot stop enthusing over it. We enjoyed ourselves and got to like Guinness and Jameson both (just ask Frank). We have told many folks about you since we returned so hopefully it brings you new clients. Thanks again from both Susan and I.
J.F., September 2005, Dublin, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Killarney, Ballybunion, and Lahinch Ireland
Jeff, Our trip was marvelous-Mark and Ann could not have been more helpful,warm and knowledgeable about the Dingle area,and Ireland in general. Our driver,Sean Kelly was fabulous and both added a real sense of comfort when traveling the narrow winding roads as well as serving as a wonderful Irish historian and story teller. The golf courses worked well, although playing Tralee in 40 mile per hour wind was a very special challenge. Thanks for all your help-please pass along our kudos re our driver.
C.A., September 2005, Dingle, Kenmare, and Adare Ireland
We had a fantastic time! Weather was perfect, one of our group played in shorts twice. Hotels--especially the Moy House, were great and our driver (Joe O'Leary) was the best. Thanks to you, everything worked like clockwork and there were absolutely no problems with any of the arrangements. it was also nice to see you at the Killeen House. Thanks a million for setting up this trip. We all felt it was the best trip we have ever taken and we look forward to doing it again. If you ever need a reference, have them call me.
J.H., September 2005, Southwest Ireland
I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful trip we had to Ireland. We spent 24 days, played 13 rounds of golf, and stayed at the most beautiful hotels. We didn't have a single problem. i would recommend you to all my friends and you can certainly use me as a reference any time. Thanks for the great work.
P.H., August 2005, Circle tour of Ireland
My brother and I would like to thank you for the excellent job in arranging our 50/40 birthday golf adventure. As you know, this was a very special occasion for us and we were made to feel special by you, and at every "tour" stop in both Scotland and Ireland. The accommodations you selected were spot-on as were the restaurant and activity recommendations. There was not one glitch throughout the whole trip, including car rentals and directions. Although we chose the not-so-hidden gems, the behind the scenes work you put in was apparent in the trouble-free nature of our trip. We would just show up to some of the most famous courses in the world, check-in, and tee off. How does it get better than that? I will gladly recommend you and hidden Links to anyone who is interested in an unforgettable golf experience. Thanks again and see you the next time.
N.D.. August 2005, St. Andrews, Scotland, Dublin and Southwest Ireland
Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed our recent trip to Ireland. The schedule was aggressive but this is what we wanted and we enjoyed it. Thanks for setting it up, I especially appreciate all of the time you took to help me get buggies where they were available.
M.K., August 2005, Northwest Ireland, Lahinch, and Ballybunion
Jeff, I just wanted to drop you a quick line and tell you how much we enjoyed our trip. The weather was great, all of the courses were superb. We all agreed that Old Head was the most spectacular venue we could ever imagine for a golf course. Ballybunion may have been my favorite together with the back nine at Tralee. We especially enjoyed staying at Waterville House with its accommodations. I'm sure you know they have a driving range, a short game facility, and two putting greens, where Maggie and I managed to win drinks in the lounge area. That occasion turned out to be special as we met and had a lengthy conversation with Jay Connolly. All of the facilities were great and your planning and travel schedules all worked out very well. Thanks again Jeff, we'll definitely be contacting you for future trips.
J.M., August 2005, Southwest Ireland
Jeff, thanks again for putting together this golf trip for us. We had a fabulous time, and all the courses we played were outstanding. And of the 10 days of good weather each year (so they said), we had 7 of them! You can guarantee that in the future, right? Also, the coach driver we had was wonderful, very professional, personable, on time, and did lots of little extras for us like a couple of additional dinner reservations, and gathering tee/ball marker packets and course guides before each of our rounds. We couldn't have asked for a better week. Thanks again.
T.D., August 2005, Southwest Ireland
THANK YOU for all of your help! It was an amazing trip, with an amazing bus driver. All went like clockwork. We will definitely use your services again when this request comes up next time.
Brigham Young University Ladies Golf Team, August 2005, Southwest Ireland
Our trip turned out great. We were fortunate to have great weather throughout the trip. The accomodations were great, the van option was ideal, and the courses were as advertised, particularly the hidden gems. Thanks Jeff, we may do it again! Take care
S.T., August 2005, St. Andrews and Ayrshire, Scotland
Everybody had a great time and commend you for the itinerary, course lineup, and Dunvegan suite. Looking back we could not think of anything we would have changed. You were right--golf and lunch at Muirfield were one of the absolute highlights of the trip. Thanks again!
M.S., August 2005., Turnberry, Muirfield, and St. Andrews, Scotland
First day back from the vacation, my Dad and I had a wonderful time. Carnoustie is a beast, the Old Course was magical, and Kingsbarns was breathtaking. Panmure was a wonderful game, Crail was a beautiful setting and a solid course for us, and Elie was perhaps the best setting of them all. We did stop for a pint after a round at the 19th hole! Thank you so much for your help and I will contact you again I am sure for my next golf adventure.
T.R., August 2005, St. Andrews, Fife, and Carnoustie Scotland
JEFF: WE JUST GOT BACK FROM SCOTLAND YESTERDAY. IT WAS THE BEST TIME A FATHER AND SON COULD HAVE. MARK GOES TO COLLEGE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, AND THIS COULD HAVE NOT BEEN A BETTER WAY TO SEND HIM OFF. I'VE BEEN ON MANY VACATIONS AND MANY GOLF TRIPS OVER THE YEARS. THIS WAS THE MOST WELL PLANNED TRIP I COULD IMAGINE. THE HOTELS, B&B'S,PUBS AND REATURANTS YOU SUGGESTED WERE GREAT. THE DIRECTIONS WERE A MUST, ESPECIALLY WITH THEIR CRAZY ROADS. NEEDLESS TO SAY, THE GOLF WAS THE MOST EXCITING IN THE WORLD. WE DID GET ONTO THE OLD COURSE THANKS TO YOUR ADVICE. YOUR WAKE-UP CALL THAT MORNING WAS WELL BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY AND VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. I'VE BEEN HOME FOR A DAY AND HAVE ALREADY GIVEN YOUR NAME TO TWO FRIENDS PLANNING SUCH A TRIP. I'LL BE IN TOUCH MYSELF SOON FOR A FUTURE TRIP. THANKS AGAIN FOR MAKING A VERY IMPORTANT TRIP A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE.
S.G., July 2005, Turnberry, Prestwick, Royal Troon, Carnoustie, and St. Andrews, Scotland
The trip was a smashing success for Pop and me. He had a great time playing some of the "lesser" courses - though his favorite round not surprisingly was the Old Course - and we enjoyed very much (strange as it sounds) the driving between and around our destinations. The accomodations were solid everywhere, the Old Course Hotel very, very good. The service there was especially strong. As far as the courses: Dornoch is just first-rate, as you know. Golspie is not quite as memorable as Brora but both are worth a play if someone is staying in that area for a few days, as of course is Nairn,
which based on what I've played anyway I would rate as the no. 2 course in the Highlands. Boat of Garten was a treat - lots of rumple on the fairways, great scenery, some very strong holes. Braid seemed to have a good way especially with par fours, mixing up the long and the short ones. As I told you on the phone, Kingussie was not quite as good as the Boat but was a real find for us - the course isn't as strong overall, but it has even better scenery on the front nine than BOG, some really good holes and plenty of quirk also. These courses were great for us, in that they were lovely, fun and not too demanding (as well as altogether uncrowded, no tour buses). We liked both the Jubilee and the New quite a bit in St. Andrews. It was especially nice to be able to walk onto both without a time and play in three hours, too. We played Crail in pretty heavy rain and heavy wind, and loved it. There are some OK holes but some excellent ones too, especially the first five going out. Next time I might try Elie and Lundin Links, but Crail was a good call, very "authentic" (to my way of thinking), fun to play and very proximate to our base. Thanks again for all your help. My in-trip reports back to my
colleagues here have some of them talking about another trip to Scotland or Ireland before too long.
J.G., July 2005, Dornoch, Boat of Garten, and St. Andrews, Scotland
Thanks again for putting arranging our golfing trip to Ballybunion, Lahinch, etc. and the weather was GREAT. You really do think of everything. Some feedback: No question that the Tides was first class in terms of accommodations, a beautiful guesthouse. Killeen House was great, especially Mike's bar...I don't think there are any others quite like it. Everything went smoothly, and we can't thank you enough for putting the trip together.
J.P., July 2005, Killarney, Ballybunion, and Lahinch Ireland
Well we made it and it was every bit a spectacular as you said it would be. All golf courses were wonderful as were your recommendations for food and pubs. Your lodging choices and villages for overnights were great. We will definitely will be repeat customers and have already recommended you to two other groups planning the trip. All in all it was wonderful and
I would be happy for you to use me as a reference it you have the need. Thank you again.
M.C., July 2005, Southwest Ireland
Just a word of thanks for arranging the trip....Had a fantastic time! Golf and weather was perfect, not to mention being at the The Open, particularly at St Andrews! We will talk about a trip to Ireland in the future. Thanks!
M.W., July 2005, East Lothian and the British Open, St. Andrews, Scotland
We had a great time. Old Head was, of course, just spectactular. Mahoney's Point was fine and Ring of Kerry was a pretty course also. Perryville House was very accomodating---they gave our son (who is a 5'11" 14-year old his own room at no extra charge because he was too big for their camp cot.) Killarney Park was great---they have some of the most service-oriented staff we have met on all our travels (to many places all over the world and in U.S.). All in all, it was a great trip and we really appreciated your help in arranging it.
M.F., July 2005, Old Head and Killarney, Ireland
Just want to reiterate what George said...everything that you set up was as advertised! Driving directions were "spot on!"
Appreciate all of you efforts in making this a truly memorable experience. I will highly recommend you to some of my associates who are planning asimilar trip. Future trip there is not out of the question...next time I think we fly to Edinburgh and spend the time playing the other courses in St. Andrews...but Kingsbarns is a definite! Thanks again Jeff
D.K., June 2005, The Highlands and St. Andrews, Scotland
Absolutely Awesome! What a trip. Everything worked like clockwork. An oversized double queen room overlooking the 18th fairway of the Old Course--breathtaking! Even the weather was fantastic, although on our first day, at Brora, it did rain. Typical Scotland weather. Had a terrific round going on the Old until I hit my approach into the shell bunker on number 7 and took three to get out. What an experience! And what can I say about Kingsbarns? It is now my all-time favorite course. I could play it every day. Spectacular views and a great layout. The car worked out perfectly, we stopped at a number
of distilleries, including Glenmorangie, Glenlivit, Dalwhinnie, and Edradour. We even had a sip or two. Thank you so much for all your efforts. You put together an incredible trip. It will be something I will remember the rest of my life. Thanks again
G.Y., June, 2005, The Highlands and St. Andrews, Scotland
Great trip. Everyone had a wonderful time. Thank you for all of your work. Let me say off the top that Tim was an excellent driver. Been on 4 of these, and he was the best so far. Nice, conscientious guy. RCD was great as always. The guys loved Doonbeg. Greenbrier and 19th hole were very nice. Killarney was fantastic. And Old Head blew the guys away -- as it does most everyone. Great trip -- and A plus, and my group had a better time than they even anticipated. We would definitely use your company again......and BTW, all the hotel operators spoke highly of you. You enjoy a great reputation.
J.C., June 2005, Dublin, Royal County Down, Lahinch, Ballybunion, County Kerry, and Old Head
Just wanted to let you know we all had a great trip. We were made most welcome everywhere we stayed and will certainly go back. You did a great job selecting hotels and courses, in particular the Beasleys at the 19th Lodge in Ballybunion really made us feel at home. What would you suggest for the 2006 trip?
P.B., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
The Ireland trip was great. The bus, the driver, Tommy, the accommodations,the golf, everything was perfect. Thank you!
D.K., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
Jeff..............we had a great, great time on our trip.........can't thank you enough for helping it to happen. We really enjoyed our stay with Jack and Sheena at Dunvegan and Jim was a real plus with the transportation/local insights and good humor. All in all, one fine trip that we'll all remember and cherish for a lifetime............don't hesitate to use me as a reference if ever needed.
T.T., June 2005, Ayrshire and St. Andrews, Scotland
Just wanted to thank you for setting up our trip. It was amazing and you lined it up perfectly with us finishing on Old Head. Kent and Scott have played Spyglass and Pebble Beach and say Old Head blows them away! We had for the most part perfect weather. No RAIN! Had 35-50 mph winds on Thursday at Tralee (what a course!). Kinsale IS the greatest little town I've been in. I've already given your name to some friends and will do so in the future to any who inquire. Thanks again and will look you up for our next venture to Great Britain.
M.K., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for arranging such a fabulous trip. The weather, courses and accommodations were all perfect. James, our driver, was excellent too. As they say on the old sod, "fooking grand". You will be certainly be highly recommended, so expect to hear from friends of mine that will be going next year. If ever in CT, be sure to call me and we'll play Wampanoag....a 1926 Donald Ross that I'm sure you'll love.
J.B., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
Hi Jeff, All we have left are fond memories and blistered lips due to the sun. Yes, the sun. When I returned home my response, in advance, to any questions my father might ask was, "Great, now go ahead and ask any question". Beyond the weather - that which you could not control, everything you could control was perfect. The tee times (late at Lahinch brought the evening shadows!), the accomodations, the pub suggestions, James - the driver, the general handholding, all great, great and great. There's no way to express the superlatives except to say if I could have rewritten any of the entire trip, I couldn't have. In my opinion: Best course was Lahinch. Ballybunion, awesome but too tough. Back nine at Tralee great. Old Head spectacular views, and Waterville is the one I'd join - could play it every day. I expect other opinions may vary. Feel free to have any prospects call me at the office
D.F., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
We are all either back or on our way to other destinations. We had a little rocky start getting out of the states but once we hit Ireland it was perfect. First the weather was sunny and mild every day we were there. Second the accommodations were great, everyone was very pleasant and helpful. Pat Pendergast is a great guy who met our every need. I want to thank you for all you help and making the arrangements flawless. The golf courses were in great condition and everyone had a blast. Everyone wants to go back and bring their wives. I will send you some pictures once we get them developed.
A.D., June 2005, Southwest Ireland
I can never thank you enough for the time you invested in me over the past year in planning my husband's birthday trip to Scotland. We are already planning our next trip which he would like to play Turnberry again and Gleneagles. Your precision, dedication to excellence became more evident with each day as we relaxed into the beauty of the people and country. What a great investment and vacation. Thank you more than we can ever express. As a way of feedback for you, Jim Williamson is a gem. Greywalls was exquisite as was Turnberry. My golf on the Old Course can be summed up with the caddies words "I think we will need a calculator for your score" The Cellar and Vineleaf were outstanding. At Turnberry by chance there was a corporate gathering who hired bagpipes and the guys had happy birthday by pipe! The Scottish Symphony was warming up for a concert at Culzean Castle and played Happy Birthday to someone in the orchestra but the trip had been so perfectly planned that Max assumed we had arranged it!!! A great success and wonderful time. Thank you! Have a great year and let me know which you would recommend for us in 2007. God's peace
P.G., May 2005, East Lothian, St. Andrews, and Turnberry Scotland
We've been home only a few days, but while memories are fresh I felt inclined to give you a capsule review of your carefully designed week for us. While you certainly assembled a first-rate vacation, it was a golfing experience of the highest order. Getting off the plane and grabbing our van, we made the � hour drive to Nairn, which proved to be just the right tonic following ten hours in the air. After playing that gem in short sleeves, we found the Glenmorangie House where perfect service, a four-course meal, and numerous single malts awaited us. The quick drive to Dornoch in the morning and the 36-holes we played that day will remain forever etched in our memories (is there a more beautiful course anywhere in Scotland?) before a 2nd night back in the lap of luxury back at Glenmorangie. Off to Carnoustie in the a.m., we toughed out another day of sunscreen and short sleeves before scoring "4" on the infamous 18th where Van de Velde choked with a triple. After toasting the Frenchman, we coasted into St. Andrews and the R & A, where the attendant greeted us: "Here are your keys for the Waldon House just across the 18th fairway, so after unloading there, feel free to park your van here for the duration and enjoy yourselves tomorrow - your tee time on the Old Course is 7:50am." A great meal and a good night's rest were all we needed to prepare for 36 on the Old that day, where 18-year old Mark ("The Kid") fired a bogey-free 67 in our final round, one in which he could have outputted Tiger. However, our celebration that 2nd night proved to be a bit much for The Kid, who was in a queasy state at Kingsbarns the following morning, managing only a 73. The rest of us took in Kyle Phillips' masterpiece under cloudless skies and couldn't decide whether it felt like Whistling Straits, Cypress Point or Bandon Dunes. Lunch and beer gave us the blood sugar to seek the Western Coast and Turnberry, the only place that actually made us wish we'd brought the spouses. An outstanding meal, great service and a heavenly mattress set the tone for the astonishing Ailsa course, our first outing where wind ruled the day. The lovely drive to Prestwick ensued and we checked into the Golf View Hotel, walked across the street and played our 2nd 18 of the day at Prestwick. Unquestionably the most unique track of the trip, The Kid began with two bogeys before missing a 4-footer on 18 that would have given him 69, a score that made all the members proud. Sans sport jackets, they gave us our own room to down brews and take in the regal atmosphere of the Open's birthplace, before concluding the evening with a superb dinner across the street. By the time we arrived at Troon for our final rounds, we felt like old pros. An amazing golf experience and every bit as hard as Carnoustie in my book, Troon capped a perfect week of weather, golf and companionship, skillfully arranged by Hidden Links. We'll use your services again! Many thanks!
R.G., May 2005, The Highlands, Carnoustie, St. Andrews, and Ayrshire Scotland
As you can see, we're back from a great trip. Everything went smoothly, including getting the Alberts clubs out of customs the same day. The staff at the Grand Hotel, especially Liam were extremely helpful. We were able to play Royal County Down the same day with all of our clubs. That, by the way, was my favorite course. It's absolutely beautiful, the gorse was still in bloom so it really made the holes stand out. We all loved the Bushmills Inn the best, and the pubs and food there were fabulous, as well as the staff there, especially Stella and Kay. We also were very happy with Paula and her family at the Drumnacroil. Even her kids helped out! Our driver Joe O'Leary was really great and went out of his way to make sure that everything ran smoothly. He would even go to the extent of making "dry runs" to know the exact route and time to some of the courses. We were finally able to twist his arm to eat dinner with us our first night at Donegal. All of the other golf courses were great. I played good golf except the two rainy days, ranging from 72 at Cruit to 85, with a couple of 79's at the Valley, and Donegal (from the medal tees, as there was a competition). I even shot an 80 at Royal County Down the day we arrived. The course at Rosapenna is excellent and tough. Just as last year, you were outstanding in the work and preparation of our trip, and we sure do appreciate that. It's great to just walk into the hotels and golf courses and tell them that we were with Hidden Links, and have them tell us that they have been expecting us. We certainly are grateful to you for the smooth flow and comfort of our trip, and look forward to working with you again for next year. Any time you need a recomendation, feel free to contact me or any of the guys in the group. I'll be contacting you soon about our next trip!
L.C., May 2005, Northern Ireland and Northwest Ireland
I think it's safe to say that every guy on the trip had an experience they will never forget. Not only were the golf courses magnificent, the trip could not have gone smoother! Your attention to detail with our motorcoach, taxis, and accomodations
made such a big difference. We played some of the most amazing golf courses in the world and didn't have to worry about anything once we were there. I would not hesitate to recommend Hidden Links to anyone looking to take a tour in Scotland. Thank you so very much for helping us create memories we will never forget!
D.S., May 2005, Dornoch, St. Andrews, and East Lothian Scotland
Thought I had done this earlier in the week but forgot. The trip went great as the golf and the accomodations were fantastic. Old Head, Tralee, Lahinch and the improvements at Waterville got all the raves. Sure has changed in the 18 years since I first played there but what a great experience for all of us and our sons. Thanks again, there will be another trip in the future!
M.P., May 2005, The K Club and Southwest Ireland
What an Awesome time! My father made copies of your agenda/itinerary and gave it to his golf buddies. They're all talking about going next year. Looks like we'll be sending you a bunch of referrals. Service and accommodations were great at the Waldon House. Lots of history there. I shot a great score on the old course to top it all off. We also played the New course. Golf everyday...don't know how my father did it. pure adrenaline. Well done
M.C., May 2005, Gleneagles and St. Andrews Scotland
It was one of the best golf trips I've been on, and I normally go on 3-4 a year. If we had it to do over we'd probably reduce the driving times We all liked the pubs and walking around the small towns. The golf was awesome! We played 36 holes 3 times and 27 holes once. We got a total of 10.5 rounds in. The weather was great. It only rained on us for 1 hole on Donegal. When we played Doonbeg the wind was 45 mph with gusts of 75. I really enjoyed Doonbeg, Lahinch, Ballybunion-old and new, and Sligo. Thanks for setting everything up for us. Everything was great!
T.W., April 2005, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, County Clare, and Ballybunion Ireland
We had a FANTASTIC time......look forward to catching up with you and thanks for all your help and attention to detail!!! You were great and we will tell everyone!!! Cheers
R.W., October 2004, Turnberry, Troon, and St. Andrews Scotland
Your Ireland arangements were terrific. Probably the best Hotel accomadations we have ever had. Gregans Castle, Stella Maris, Adare Manor and Killarney Park were wonderful. Yeats was location significant and was therefore good. However the topper in my opinon was the Tides Guesthouse in Ballybunion it was as good as any 5 star that I have stayed in over the last 5 years. David Walsh was an excellent host. Ballybunion is as great a course as is in anywhere in the world and with the Tides and O'Connors resturant you have a winner and a centerpiece for any Ireland trip. Finally I believe that Killeen and Mahoneys Point at Killarney along with Dooks and Waterville give nice flexibility to the final days of a trip.
Believe me you done good
R.B., September 2004, Southwest Ireland
Now that I am finally getting settled down and caught up from my absence during my trip to Scotland that you arranged, I wanted to tell you that our trip could not have gone more smoothly. There were no hiccups or problem with any of our reservations at the hotels or golf courses. Further, in each instance, the golf courses knew that we wanted caddies and they were available that day. Highlights included our rounds of golf at Royal Dornoch, Troon, Turnberry, the Kings Course at Gleneagles, Muirfield and of course the courses around St. Andrews. Pete and I were able to obtain temporary memberships at the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse and enjoyed a few hours one afternoon there. Again, thank you for your assistance and in addition to Mike, I would not hesitate to recommend your firm to my friends.
T.S., September 2004, The Highlands, the West Coast, St. Andrews, and Edinburgh Scotland
Returned yesterday from an incredible golf journey thru SW Ireland no worse for wear.....We all had a really great time....for the most part the weather was good....exception being the last day on the Old Course at Ballybunion---60 mph gale winds and horizonal rains but we also needed that to expierence what golf in Ireland can be. The lodgings were all good.....Mark and Catherine, Victor and John and Dierada were great hosts......would have to rate the Cashen House the
best-----rooms were outstanding (we even got John up early one morning to fix breakfast so we could make our 8 am tee time)....all the selected golf courses gave us a different take on scenic views and difficulty......our ranking would be Old Head, Tralee (especially the back nine), Waterville, Lahinch, Old Course (this might be higher if we didn't have to keep our heads down to ward off the wind and rain), Cashen course and Mohony Point------all were good. Our driver, Tim was a very accomodating guy----making reservations for dinner----hauling us around to shop for gifts and always punctual and really tried hard to please. All in all we had a great time and you did a great job is arranging the trip.....would certainly recemmend you to any of our friends who wanted to do an Ireland (and maybe others) golf trip.....thanks for all your help.
G.W., September 2004, Southwest Ireland
We are back and happy to report the trip went very well. Enniscrone, Carne, County Sligo were well worth the trip. Especially Rosses Pt. in my opinion. The accommodations and travel were outstanding. The weather was a little iffy at best but it's the first time in eight trips I have encountered such tough conditions. Not so difficult that we skipped any rounds however. Again, we had a wonderful trip and I want to thank you for doing such a good job. I don't think I will be going next year but am considering a St. Andrews trip for eight in 2006. I will look forward to working with you as the time
draws a little closer.
L.J., September 2004, Northwest and Southwest Ireland
I just wanted to drop you a note to tell you that we had a great time on our trip to Ireland the first week of September. The weather was great all week and we played seven rounds of golf without a drop of rain. The hotels were very nice especially the Kilarney Lodge. Thanks again for organizing a great trip!
K.I., September 2004, Southwest Ireland
I apologize for not writing sooner but life is hectic at times. I know I can speak for all in saying we enjoyed our trip immensely. Golf, travel and the accommodations were great. We particularly enjoyed the Ashlee Lodge and the Tides Guesthouse. The O'Leary's and the Walsh's were great hosts and made us feel welcome. Thanks for your help and planning!
B.H., September 2004, Southwest Ireland
Thanks for putting together a great trip for us last week. Everyone had a great time, and enjoyed all the links golf clubs we played . My twofavorites were Donegal and Royal Portrush. Having a bus driver was well worth it !!! I'm sure we will be putting together another trip through you. Thanks again
G.W., September 2004, Northern Ireland and Northwest Ireland
I would like to say "Thank You" for a fantastic golfing experience. The golfing trip that Hidden Links put together to Ireland
this past week was First Class all the way and our entire group really enjoyed ourselves. The hotel accommodations and staff at each of the hotels were truly fantastic, the golf courses were first class all the way, and our bus driver (Brennan) was one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Thanks again for all your help!
D.B. September 2004, Southwest Ireland
Everything 100% perfect, everyone was thrilled with the job that you did!
M.S., September 2004, Dublin and Northern Ireland
Just returning from our weeks stay in Ireland and wanted to thank you for all that you did to make the trip so enjoyable. We had a great week, highligthed by 50 mph winds and 8 rain suit changes at Ballybunion on Friday....but we figured that this is what we came to see and we finally got it! It was a great way to celebrate my father's 70th birthday....memorable and enjoyable for sure. You did a great job and we are very appreciative of your efforts.
M.Y., September 2004, Southwest Ireland
We returned from out trip late last week. Had a great time and the arrangements were perfect. We especially enjoyed the trip to Machrihanish . The scenery and experience there and at Kingsbarns were extraordinary. We were very well received at every stop. We were able to play the Old Course on Monday and my son got on again as a single on Tuesday.(It's hard not to pull your tee shot on 18!). All the other courses were great as well. Glynice Williamson was a great hostess. I could go on and on. Thanks very much for an outstanding experience. ( I look forward to my next trip)
R.M., August 2004, St. Andrews, the West Coast of Scotland, and Kintyre
The trip was great. Everything worked out great and everyone had a great time. The accommodations were super, the transportation with Kevin as our driver was great, and the golf was superb. I will highly recommend your services to anyone who asks me what I thought of our trip. It couldn't have been better.
B.C., August 2004, the Scottish Highlands and the East Coast
Just a quick note to tell you that the trip exceeded my very high expectations. All the arrangements were wonderful. The Old Course was a surprise. In absolutely perfect condition. And a very romantic place for a golf nut like me. Dornoch is the fairest course of the ones I played. Loved it. Prestwick was very windy, and the greens are pretty eccentric, but I thought the course was great fun. Turnberry was toughest for me, although I played it in short sleeves on a benign weather day. Still, a treat to be there. Rusacks was great, and the view from the dining room during breakfast can't be beat anywhere. The hotel in Dornoch was very comfortable, we had (according to the bellboy) Vijay Singh's suite when he was there for the Open at the Marine Hotel in Troon. The bellboy may tell that to all the girls, but it was pretty terrific. And the hotel at Turnberry was just a great way to end our hotel hopping. The car was big and comfortable. And, with Mary Jane navigating, using your print outs, we only made two wrong turns the entire way. Played at St. Andrews an hour after we arrived on the first Saturday. Thanks for the suggestion. Gave us a day to sightsee in Edinburgh. We took the train back and forth. Edinburgh was well worth the day. And we saw a lot of castles along the way as we drove up to Dornoch and back down to Troon. Thanks for everything. We've played in Ireland and Spain. I'd go back to Scotland if I had to make a choice. Your efforts contributed greatly to our pleasure.
B.B., August 2004, West Coast of Scotland, St. Andrews and the East, and the Highlands
Just wanted to send you a quick email to let you know we had a great time in Scotland. The trip excceed our loftly expectations. Somehow we managed to dodge the rain most of the time. Even though it was one of the wettest
Augusts on record we only had rain for about 6 holes over 7 rounds. The country is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the courses are awesome (I even played better than I thought I would). I have to thank you again for the excellent work you did to help us pull this together. We're even starting to think about a return trip in 2006. We'd like to see
if we can get some of our friends to join us next time. Probably a bit less extravagant and maybe include Ireland as well. I'll get a hold of you in the next couple of months to start pulling toether some ideas.
J.M., August 2004, West Coast of Scotland, the Highlands, Gleneagles, and St. Andrews
We have been back now for one week and feel like we're getting back to routine, but you could never say we are 'over' our trip to Scotland. I want to phrase all this as well as I can so you can quote me to customers - but the summary would be that the trip was perfect! Somehow you read us exactly and placed us just right - more off the beaten path where we could really see the country and meet Scots not Americans on the golf course. We met a great couple the first night at Machrie. He was a 4 time winner of the Kildalton Cross there and a dentist originally from there, now living in England. We played 2 days with he and his wife and it really made the Machrie magical. John was also an R&A member and he wrote me a letter and made arrangements for me to be an honorary member the day we were in St Andrews, which allowed me to tour the clubhouse on our day there! We never talked to another American until Royal Dornoch and all the people we did meet asked how we found out about whatever place it was that we were. We let them know it was courtesy of your insight and knowledge. The Glenmorangie House was a particular win - such a fabulous site - location, food, whiskey and fellow guests that were very interesting and pleasant. The access to distilleries was awesome and we took good advantage. We learned a lot, had fun and brought 8 bottles home. The swing inland to Boat of Garten was fantastic and we really enjoyed the Boat Hotel. In St Andrews the Dunvegan really is a phenomenon and 'the' place to stay. Jack spoke well of you and sends his regards. Obviously we had a genuinely great time and we want to thank you again. I really wanted you to know how much we appreciated your knowledge and skill in setting up what was clearly a unique and ideal trip. Please feel confident in giving our name as a reference. I have not found this level of service to be at all usual.
B.J., July 2004, Kintyre, Islay, the Highlands, and St. Andrews
I've been very tardy in thanking you for putting together such a splendid trip for us. Everyone had a great time. The courses were spectacular, especially County Louth, Royal Portrush, and Royal County Down. All the golfers in the group have entered into a bit of a conspiracy. We're telling everyone that RCD was way "overrated." That way we can keep it to ourselves. It just may be the greatest golf course + setting in the world! I'm trying to push the guys into getting serious about planning a trip for next summer. Best wishes
J.T., July 2004, Dublin and Northern Ireland
Just want to drop you a quick email to let you know that Stacy and myself had a wonderful trip to Ireland. You did a great job planning everything. We truly enjoyed the guest houses and golf courses that were recommended by you and the driving directions made it easy to get around. We both enjoyed playing the links style courses even though the 30 mph winds made the courses very tough. I consider myself a decent golfer, but the combination of the old course at Ballybunion and high winds made me feel like it was my first time on a golf course. Man, was it tough!!!! But I loved every
minute of it. Thanks again, we will look to Hidden links for our next overseas golfing trip.
P.M., July 2004, Dublin and Southwest Ireland
Your professional approach to the two projects was to be commended . I enjoyed working with you and your team and I wish the project all success. Kindest regards as always. Renton
Renton Laidlaw, "Hidden Links Golf Guide to Scotland and Ireland"
I would like to extend thanks to you for setting up what turned out to be a fabulous golfing experience. Everything went smoothly and Geoffrey and I both had a wonderful time. Thanks also for suggesting Kingsbarns and Brora, the two courses where I shot my best scores. Kingsbarns was exquisite for such a young course and was quite beautiful. Brora was charming with all the livestock placidly grazing as we walked by them. The lunch at Muirfield was superb, just as you told us it would be. It was also reassuring to know that I can walk 36 holes in one day! The accommodations were always excellent and everyone we met was extremely friendly, particularly Jack and Sheena at the Dunvegan in St. Andrews. We appreciated how close to the courses these hotels were. Geoffrey, in particular, had a most spectacular view of the tenth hole at Muirfield from his bathroom! We were even able to see some famous people during our trip. Geoffrey and I were the in 14:00 group at the Old Course. Right behind us in the 14:10 group was Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. My caddy conjectured that Geoffrey and I may have even been investigated to make sure that Andrew was safe playing behind us. We even had to wait for a while on the 11th tee with his group. While we were in Dornoch, we stepped out of the Royal Golf Hotel to see Ernie Els and his family arrive by helicopter, landing on an area between the 18th green and the first tee. Royal Dornoch remains the most beautiful golf course I have ever seen (or ever hope to see) and Geoffrey even had his best round there, getting three birdies and playing the back nine at one over par. He even birdied #18, the last hole we played during our trip. I can always remember sinking a long putt to birdie the first hole at the Old Course. These are memories that can last a lifetime. Thanks once again for enabling us to accumulate these memories. We had a fabulous time and consider the trip to have been a thoroughly worthwhile experience.
B.C., July 2004, West Coast of Scotland, the Highlands, Gullane, and St. Andrews
We had a fantastic trip--it's great when things exceed your expectations! Adare Manor was a fabulous place to stay--with special compliments to the entire staff. John King is an amazing guy, working before we arrived and daily to assure that every request and planned event was perfect. Thanks
D.P., July 2004, Southwest Ireland
Sorry this has not been sent to you sooner!!! We had the trip of a lifetime- wonderful 50th birthday- some wonderful stories for us to remember!!! I loved the links courses- great for women because if you can hit the ball straight it will go forever!!! our favorite accommodations were the Stella Maris (because of the owners) and the Hayfield Manor- but all were great- my favorite place to golf was Ballyliffin and the northwest and Van's was the southwest- Tralee, etc. Thanks for a job well done- and we will be recommending Hidden Links to our friends when they go abroad to play golf. take care
D.C., July 2004, one-month circle tour, Northern Ireland, Northwest Ireland, Southwest Ireland, and Dublin
Well we got home yesterday after a great golfing trip to Ireland thanks to your fantastic planning and attention to detail.
Mike and I especially appreciated your efforts to get us a better tee time at Lahinch. The accommodations were great and you might want to mention in your future material that, while expensive, the bar at the Clarence is likely the best anywhere. No bar mixes are used, only fresh ingredients, to make the best cocktails anywhere. We will be sure to recommend your services and look forward to a future trip.
P.B., July 2004, Dublin and Southwest Ireland
What can I say but thank you. Our trip was absolutely wonderful. The places were wonderful. It was so great. We will definitely be going back to Ireland. We loved the Killeen House the best. The Moy House was wonderful but much quieter which was nice at the end of the trip and to spend some nice time together. Scotland was very nice but the people in Ireland can't be beat. I got a pat on the arse (English speak) one night as I was going to bed. Michael from the Killeen House gave me a hug and kiss when we left. That is my style of people. I just loved it and Tony had as great a time as
I did. You really put together a wonderful honeymoon for us and I just wanted to again say thank you and I would recommend you to anyone. WHAT A GREAT TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
D.F., June 2004, St. Andrews and Southwest Ireland
I made it back to the states late Saturday. The others of course are still in London with their wives. We had a wonderful time. After finishing on The Old Course about 6:05 pm, we teed off again for a second 18 at 6:20 pm! Travel golf bags arrived on time but regular luggage didn't arrive until we got to the Dunvegan and Jack sent a cab back to Edinburgh to find them. All in all, the courses were great. General consensus is, that if we went back, we would not include Kingsbarns in the itinerary. We would all include Braid Hills. The round with hickory at Musselburgh Links was a trip. Since we didn't
have our luggage, we were making plans to skip the afternoon foursomes at Muirfield and try to get on North Berwick. But, our driver and the owner of Golf Inn came through with four shirts, four ties, and four (some ill-fitting) sport coats. Alan Murray was most helpful. Always making sure we got to the golf clubs in plenty of time and were picked up at a time we appointed. Thanks again for all your help in putting this trip together for us.
S.M., June 2004, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Royal St. George's (England)
We are back from a fabulous trip! You're right, this itinerary is really a great one. Teach Iorrais was very nice, the pub was great and the food in the restaurant was excellent. Later that night, there was live entertainment and the place was jumping. We had a blast that night! Golf at Carne started with a foggy day, but the golf course is spectacular, and very,very hilly, and was a lot of fun. We loved Enniscrone and Sligo, both are really nice and challenging courses. We had a beautiful day at Tralee downtown before golf, and then had a great day at Tralee, which was the favorite golf course of several of the guys. The 19th Hole is a beautiful B&B, where James and Mary could not have been any better to us. It was a treat to stay there and be pampered every morning at breakfast. They are excellent hosts. I am very happy that I listened to you about staying there. As usual Victor at the Greenbrier was at his best. We all enjoyed staying there. He went out of his way to get us into the Black Oak, as it was full, and we had a wonderful dinner and time there. We also had dinner a Vaughns and that
was outstanding (if you go there be sure to eat the Seafood platter). Lahinch is a great golf course and a tough test of golf, but it was in nice shape and the weather was good, the fist time out of four that I played Lahinch without a drop of rain. We loved playing a Dromoland Castle. It wa a pleasant break from links golf, and it was in superb shape as there was an interclub tournament being played ahead of us. Lots of Garde, as Pres. Bush is going there this week. It took almost ten minutes to clear the front gate. Our last day at Doonbeg was nice. They had a 3 day member-guest that ended Sat. so we had some very nice greens as well as fairways.My brother John almost had a hole-in-one at the 14th, he left it about 6 inches from the hole. The Woodstock was very nice and we enjoyed the pub and the pub food. You did an outstanding job and we sure do appreciate that everything went so smoothly.Our driver Tim did an excellent job and as you suggested we gave him a nice tip at the end of the trip, which he appreciated. I would recommend him very highly to anybody. Again, I want to thank you for a great trip and all that you did for us to make it fun and without worries. We can't wait to start planning our next trip.
L.C., June 2004, Northwest Ireland, County Clare, and Ballybunion
We returned from our Ireland golf adventure last Thursday. It was a fantastic 8 days. Everything went like clock work. Thanks so much for pulling it all together. I'll recommend Hidden Links (and you) to others. You must do a good business over there. A couple of courses asked me for a voucher for the greens fees . When I said it was "prepaid" and mentioned
Hidden Links they just nodded their heads OK with a knowing look on their face. Not sure when I might return but have a feeling it won't be too long!
B.K., June 2004, Dublin, Northern Ireland, and Inishowen
Just a quick note to let you know that I had a trip of a lifetime to Scotland. You certainly know how to put at a trip together.
Thanks for all you did in making this a once in a lifetime experience.
B.W., June 2004, West Coast of Scotland and St. Andrews
Had a great time. Accomodations were great, especially Waldon house (balcony overlooking the 18th green - how could you stay anywhere else). The Old Course was unbelievable, better than I expected. Turnberry was fabulous, beautiful day - probably the best setting for a golf course that I have seen. Putted in from off the fairway for an eagle 2 on the 18th so my ranking may have been clouded a bit. Troon--really windy day. Shot 36 on the front (including a triple bogey). Caddy told me I would not break 50 on the back nine. I bet him 3 pints I would - anyway to cut a long story short I rolled in a 16ft snake for a crowd pleasing 51 on the back. By far the toughest 9 holes of golf I have ever played. I can't believe they are going to grow the rough higher for the Open! Really looking forward to watching it on TV now. Got tickets for the Scottish cup final just before kick off at below face value - unbelievable atmosphere, great day all round. In closing a fabulous trip, memories will last forever. Anyway the boys here in Manila were pretty impressed with the stories and are talking of organizing an 8-12 person trip for next year - I have passed on your details. Thanks for everything, organization was first rate and I will definitely be in contact in the future, I am hanging out to get back.
C.P., May 2004, The East and the West Coasts of Scotland
This is a long overdue email to thank you for the excellent job that you did putting our trip together. The itinerary worked out really well. None of the distances that we had to travel were too prohibitive. The Tides Guesthouse was outstanding--giant rooms, great food, very accommodating. The Killarney Park Hotel was excellent. As for the courses, we all thought Waterville, Tralee and Lahinch were terrific. The transportation was great-plenty of room (although a bit harrowing on the
Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry). As for the restaurants, in my estimation, Gaby's in Killarney was the best spot we hit, but I would also give high marks to Vaughan's, the Oyster Tavern and the Atlantic Hotel. And, of course, it's hard to go wrong with any of the pubs. All in all, we had a great time and appreciate the help you provided. We will certainly contact you the next time we are planning a trip (Scotland might be next, although we still have many courses in Ireland to tackle). Again, thanks.
T.L., May 2004, Southwest Ireland
"I want to thank you for organizing a wonderful trip. The accommodations were great, the golf was wonderful, good food & drink (too much) but most of all, the people you introduced us to were amazing. We really had a good, neh GREAT time. As you are talking to Tim, David and the others at Moy House whose names we don't remember give them our hearty thanks!"
Cheers! H.L., October 2003, Southwest Ireland
"You are a mind reader; I was just thinking yesterday that I was delinquent in thanking you for putting together such a great itinerary. We had a wonderful time and managed to make it through our aggressive schedule with our bodies intact. We had really great caddies everywhere, which really helped; the weather was great�only five holes with rain gear on. It is hard to say which course was my favorite, since we had such a great time everywhere; I definitely want to play the Ailsa, Royal Troon, Western Gailes, and Prestwick courses again. Well thinking about it, I would play them all again. All in all, just a wonderful time: great people and a cool trip. Thank you so much for your help in putting it together. "
E.C., September 2003, West Coast of Scotland and the Highlands
" The trip was Fantastic! Many thanks to you for a great job organizing our experience. Everything went like clockwork. Having everything prepaid is so nice. We will definitely recommend you to all of our friends. Feel free to refer to us extremely satisfied customers. Mary commented that you were the best tour operator she worked with the whole season. Very professional, reliable and easy to work with. Kudos. Anyway, once again, you did a great job for us. I'll be talking to you in 2005 for our trip to Northern England and Scotland. Send me few of your business cards as I gave the others all away in Ireland."
T.R., September 2003, Galway and Southwest Ireland
" Thanks for setting up an unforgettable trip to the Emerald Isle. We had an unbelievable time some of which we have forgotten at Killarney after way too many pints. The accommodations could not have been better. We are already talking about the next trip and hopefully arranging a couple of foursomes but this time by coach. Anyway, we appreciate all your hard work in making this the best golf vacation we have ever experienced."
R.C., September 2003, Southwest Ireland
" The schedule that Hidden Links put together was executed to perfection. The accommodations were better than what I had anticipated. Killeen House was magnificent. The golf courses were great. And the Irish people couldn�t have been easier to get along with. All in all, the trip was a trip of a lifetime."
C.W., September 2003, Southwest Ireland
" It was a more enjoyable trip than we could have imagined. All four of us enjoyed it to the maximum. The competition at Crail was marvelous, I happened to be paired with the chap who ran away with the tournament. The whole experience at Brora was fabulous. The caddies that you arranged for us just happened to be the Captain of the club, the treasurer and the social secretary and the local preacher's son. We had a great time both on the course and at the bar after the round. The whole town of Brora was interesting. We particularly liked playing Golspie, so we played there twice. Needless to say, Machrihanish was absolutely delightful, no crowds, no rush and absolute quiet and peace. We enjoyed interaction with the townspeople in Campbeltown. The golf course was our favorite of all and would suggest it to anyone who wants a lot of peace and quiet along with enough of a challenge for anyone. Dunaverty---a total delight. Not a great challenge but true old fashioned golf, with every conceivable fun involved.
Being able to drive the greens on par 4's and not being able the reach the par 3's in some cases. Blind shots on 3 pars and on 4 pars. Perhaps the best greens in the whole of Scotland.
In total, a great trip. We plan on following it up with a trip to Ireland next year."
J.P., August 2003, St. Andrews, the Highlands, and Machrihanish
"To sum it up, I think your method of organization was fantastic. The highlighted maps, the restaurant recommendations, the way you put the trip together was really SUPERB!! We kept ranting and raving about you. It was really a first class trip and I feel lucky to have just stumbled upon Hidden Links through an online search. I had a good feeling about you after I spoke w/you, it seemed like you knew these places and could really give us personalized attention. I am forever grateful for putting this trip together for my folks' 60th birthdays. We are looking forward to our next trip with you...Aloha and many thanks!"
K.C., August 2003, St. Andrews, Southwest Ireland, and Northwest Ireland
"The short report is that everyone had a fantastic time, golf and accommodations were great, driver did a terrific job, and total experience was well-balanced and fun. The second day at Dornoch was special, finishing late in the evening in very brisk conditions, with the smell of peat fires burning and the pipe band in the distance. North Berwick was an awesome add, as it ended up being a windy sunny day and again we played a late round and loved the vistas. Overall, that was probably the group's most fun outing and everyone loved the course. Everyone in the group played the Old Course twice and one played it three times! We ran into Sean Connery several times and asked him to pose for a picture to which he said, "Come on. I just played 18 holes and I am very tired and would like to get back and rest." Jack and Sheena were fantastic, and really are so well connected and helpful it is amazing. Very good folks. More later -- you made some great choices and the group is appreciative, and will certainly try to send folks your way. Oh, and Glenmorangie House is absolutely one of the most pleasant places I have ever stayed. Great!"
D.E., August 2003, The Highlands, St. Andrews, and East Lothian
" Having had a few days to reflect on our trip and collect on paper the many mental notes made along the way, the overall conclusion remains constant in that we had a terrific time and we experienced golf unlike anything previously encountered. Clearly, this conclusion could not be reached without the thorough and detailed planning provided by Hidden Links. On a more specific level, the golf courses were absolutely marvelous. Although Pat, Dan and I may differ slightly in our opinions, Saunton, St. Enodoc, Royal Ashdown Forest and Royal Porthcawl are truly world class courses with features that challenge the most skillful golfer, but still stimulate the imagination and provide stunning settings. Saunton is a true championship course. St. Enodoc has an amazing mix of holes; namely, the quirky short part 4 (my personal favorite), demanding threes and wind riddled shots in between. A must for any links aficionado. After golf, we zoomed to London and settled into The Cottage for several pints, a wonderful meal and a cozy bed. The other must destination is Royal Ashdown Forest and the Ashdown Park Hotel. Truly an unmatched combination in the golfing/lodging category. Royal Ashdown Forest was the most enjoyable round as the course was an ever-changing landscape of short, medium and long holes. The varying contours were delightful, especially since the turf was never subject to a shovel, never mind a bulldozer. Porthcawl was a combination of all the above, but distinguished itself with its seaside site, creative routing and punishing rough (hay, heather, gorse, etc.) Pyle and Kenfig, Southerndown, Royal North Devon, and Pennard are throwbacks to another era of the game. P&K was great fun and provided some of the most memorable holes of the trip; to wit, the stretch from 11 to 16 through the dunes. Royal North Devon is a museum piece in and of itself as it is a layout conformed to the land and molded by golf as it stood in the 19th Century. Pennard is in a class by itself and I challenge any observer to capture the true nature of this links. Holes disappear and reappear, balls bound and rattle to unknown destinations and directional poles defy convention. Wild and wind blown only scratches the surface in trying to bring this course into focus. Swinley Forest was superb and provides a glimpse into a Club of the landed gentry of the United Kingdom. Despite a steady downpour, we enjoyed the course and the setting. The trip was a remarkable and rousing success. Hidden Links did an impeccable job of advising us and planning our trip. We were completely satisfied with the entire transatlantic venture."
G.W., July 2003, South Wales, Southwest England, and London
" WOW!! England and Scotland blew away any expectations of what I thought it might be like. I am so hooked on it. Waldon House was wonderful and Doreen was the best. I loved the golf, the people, the town, and their whole way of life. What a wonderful experience. I can't thank you enough for setting up the accommodations, and all the other information you gave to make this trip as special as it was."
T.M. British Open 2003 and St. Andrews
" This had to be one of the most enjoyable trips we have taken---kind of laid back like Canada but green, green, green! The people were wonderful. The food was much better than we had anticipated. We loved the Moy House (as you predicted). The Killarney Park was our favorite (thanks again for the upgrade to the palatial suite) and the Portmarnock beautiful also, but in a different way. The Tides is very neat---immaculate actually---and we were treated very nicely. We would highly recommend you to other future travelers if you would like to use us as references. Also, we have already decided to go back in a few years---maybe sooner if our friends see the videos and decide on a more intense golfing trip! We are referring to ours as our "golfmoon" rather than simply honeymoon!!!"
D.W., June 2003, Southwest Ireland
"I must say that the trip you put together was a once in a lifetime experience, especially for my son. Everything went off perfectly. The accommodations were great. But the best was the stay at the R&A. We got a room on the 3rd floor overlooking the 1st tee and 18th green of the Old Course. The people were wonderful and we had a great time! We also had a great time using the temporary membership at the St. Andrews Golf Club. Directions and recommendations for places to visit and eat were right on. Can't wait to do it again!"
D.K., June 2003, West Coast of Scotland, East Lothian, and St. Andrews
"We returned after a wonderful trip. Everything was done so well, accommodations, travel, food and arrangements for golf. Nothing went awry. Best of all, the golfing was spectacular and the weather was just perfect. My Dad thoroughly enjoyed his trip of a lifetime and was able to play at least 9 holes on every course. All of the accommodations were great. People were delightful at every bend, and most hospitable. The best no doubt was the Moy House. The 19th Lodge is essentially brand new and quite nice. Once again many thanks for arranging such a memorable trip. Everyone was impressed with it all."
J.N., June 2003, Southwest Ireland
"We had a great trip to Ireland. Thanks for everything. I thought the courses we played were all very challenging and unique in their own way. My favorite was Portrush more because of the beauty, design and difficulty. If I had to play one every week, it would be Portstewart. The caddies there were terrific. They were all members and truly proud of their course (especially since they redesigned 2-11 themselves). I would like another shot at Royal County Downs. Probably the most difficult course I have ever played under some pretty mild conditions. Ballyliffin, as I think about it had some equally scenic and great golf holes. I really enjoyed playing most of the course a second time. I might add that on a whole, I thought these courses all were more difficult than any I played in Scotland. The trophy was a very nice touch and will probably make it to the office here soon. It looks like you have a great thing going with Hidden Links and we'll be glad to spread the word. Also you have a great website. I have enjoyed viewing the other courses and pictures this week."
T.D., June 2003, Northern Ireland and Ballyliffin
" Got back last night. Great time. Iragh ti O'Connor was fantastic as was Adare Manor. A few of the staff at Adare Manor remembered us from August 1999. Before we left yesterday, one of the guys hired a fishing guide and yanked a 12-pound salmon out of the river. The chef cooked it up for us for lunch before our departure. Unbelievable hospitality. The Tack Room raged on Tuesday night."
M.M., June 2003, The Baltimore Cheese Tour, Lahinch, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, and Adare
"I can't even begin to tell you what a great trip we had. To say it was a huge success would be an understatement. Everyone said it was their best experience they ever had on a golf trip. From the accommodations, the format, the organization and the awards dinner....everything went so great. Our driver was incredible. He and I are going to stay in touch. He became a part of the group...ate with us every night, and even gave a toast at the awards dinner! Thanks again for a great trip."
D.F., June 2003, Northern Ireland
"We just returned after a wonderful trip. Everything was done so well, accommodations, travel, food and arrangements for golf. Nothing went awry. Best of all, the golfing was spectacular and the weather was just perfect. My Dad thoroughly enjoyed his trip of a lifetime and was able to play at least 9 holes on every course. All of the accommodations were great. People were delightful at every bend, and most hospitable. Lastly, our driver could not have been better. Everyone was impressed with it all. Once again many thanks for arranging such a memorable trip!"
J.N., June 2003, Southwest Ireland
"All of our group of 8 travelers wanted me to personally thank you for the wonderful job you did in organizing our trip to Ireland. We all agreed that no one could have done more to make our trip memorable. The hotels and bed and breakfasts were first rate and seemed to get better and better as we progressed. My traveling companions kept saying they couldn't wait to see the NEXT place because we kept climbing the ladder. The restaurants you suggested for dinner were superb and our driver/guide made sure that lunch was just as good as dinner. The golf courses you recommended were outstanding. The most famous one, Ballybunion, was expected to be great but, frankly, the others were just as good. Links golf is interesting and fun. Thanks for knowin' your stuff!"
G.R., May 2003, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Clare, and Ballybunion
Jeff -- Just a short note to let you know that the trip went superbly: beautiful courses in great shape, weather fine, and comfortable friendly inns/hotels. FYI -- A quick summary:
LAHINCH -- terrific remodeling; Greenbrier was terrific choice -- good food and great hospitality shown by Victor and his wife; we ate at Vaughan's -- after a special McHugh's pub visit with the incomparable BB; I have already referred some traveling friends to Victor;
CARNE -- great day, very welcoming; the layout is special indeed; Teach Iorrais was adequate -- nothing too special, but friendly and accommodating for eight thirsty guys;
ENNISCRONE -- parts of the layout are unbelievably spectacular; special night at Coopershill where we were treated like kings for a night -- the grounds alone are worth a visit;
ROSSES POINT -- surprise of the trip as the greens (which they lost in '98 during our last visit) were top-notch; loved our day here, and visited a local pub for some good food after the round;
DONEGAL -- great track, good greens; great day;
NARIN & PORTNOO -- one golfer's favorite course of the trip -- utterly spectacular middle stretch of holes; remote, scenic, welcoming -- and the very best Guinness of the trip;
CRUIT ISLAND -- what a place -- indescribable -- photos will not do it justice; 6th hole could be the most scenic hole in the world; you were right -- this was a highlight of the trip; sunset round in scenic solitude; could not believe this hidden gem in the middle of nowhere (the gents at Narin & Portnoo tried to talk us out of driving to Cruit Island after our round, but we refused to listen to their enticements of rest and Guinness); we marched in at dusk to a standing ovation in the clubhouse; memorable indeed;
BALLYLIFFIN -- love this place -- so remote and scenic and compact; two excellent courses; we played the old course in a driving rain, and loved every minute of it. The cottages were fantastic -- perfect accommodations; owners very nice as well and probably the best breakfasts of the trip;
Thank you for all your efforts, and for making this tour so successful and memorable.
M.C., May 2003, Northwest Ireland
" We had a great time. Returned home on Friday, tired and worn out, but we really felt that the trip was a real highlight of our travels. Loved Perryville House. The Corcorans are terrific and we had a great dinner at Toddie's. Golf at Old Head was spectacular, not only because of the scenery, but I broke 100 with a 98 and beat George for the first time. The weather was intermittently wet and very windy, which made for challenging golf. Sheen Falls Lodge was very elegant and the food was terrific ( although Perryville's breakfast was the best of our whole trip). More of the same weather at Waterville, which we enjoyed also. Tralee was a real challenge with 54 Knot winds blowing the whole day, but the scenery is so spectacular, I'd do it again in a heartbeat, hopefully in less trying conditions. Our driver, Noel, was super and we really enjoyed his commentary on the way to our various destinations. He was such an asset, and we are very glad we decided to go with a driver instead of driving ourselves. The roads are so narrow and switching to driving on the left doesn't look easy to do either. In other words, you did a great job � Thanks"
L.M, May 2003, Southwest Ireland
"I just sat down to write you an email....and here you beat me to it! Great minds think alike! Well, Gordon and I had a WONDERFUL time! Everything that you had planned......the golf, the hotels, the directions.......went perfectly! The hotels, golf, Guinness, ....everything was better than what we had expected and we will recommend you to every one of our golfing friends. It was a special time to be alone with my father ....doing something that we've both enjoyed doing together for so long..... playing golf.....and I'd like to thank you for your expertise and fine planning for helping to make it that much more special! I'll give you a call for our next trip....."
G.M., May 2003, Southwest Ireland
" The trip was a wonderful success. My boys said it was their best holiday ever and they loved links golf and could not believe that it was so different than Canadian style golf
County Louth accommodations were basic but we loved their 'authenticity'. Perhaps not all would have the same reaction but we think it was a wonderful part of the experience.
All other accommodations were excellent. The hosts were fantastic at both B and B's and made wonderful breakfasts. Both boys loved Portnoo and Jesse thought it was his favorite! We absolutely loved Glashedy and would encourage anyone we talk to make the journey. It is a truly spectacular course. My other favorite was at Sligo but I am a big fan of Yeats which added to its appeal. The view of Benbulben mountain on the 10th hole is in my view the most beautiful view on any golf hole I have ever seen. All in all, a fabulous time and I thank you very much for creating it for us."
L.H., May 2003, Dublin and Northwest Ireland
" We wanted to let you know that our golf trip to Scotland was WONDERFUL . You thought of everything. The weather was fantastic we didn't have a drop of rain. The day we left Inverness it started to rain as we sat on the plane. Sandra and her husband were at the airport to meet us as we arrived. What lovely people. She is a jewel, we even stopped in Jenners Dept. store to say "Hi". When we were at St. Andrews Campbell met us and we had such a nice visit with him as well. We loved every course and the Hotels where charming and lovely. Thank you for your efforts."
G.L., April 2003, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and the Highlands